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Hiring for Diversity

Diversity in Houston law firms is an upward trend. Hiring for diversity has become a commitment for many firms. Check out some great resources on how to best hire for diversity.

Diversity in the corporate world has moved from a trendy concept to the accepted standard of operation, with most major corporations touting a comprehensive diversity policy. Below are some trends we see in the Houston market and how you can be hiring for diversity.

Upward Trending
According to a recent National Law Firm Diversity Study, minorities represent:

  • 17% of lawyers at law firms
  • 9% of partners
  • 25% of associates
  • 13% of counsel
  • 9% of management and executive committee members
  • 26% of new hires
  • 32% of summer associates
Diversity in Houston Law Firms
On a local level, a Gender Fairness Commitment Statement was signed by 60 local and national law firms with offices in Houston, as well as the Harris County Attorney’s Office. The statement asks the firms to increase the number of women partners and firm leaders using objective and unbiased criteria to evaluate them for those positions. The Gender Fairness Committee of the Houston Bar Association will follow up with the firms in 2020 to see the progress made in accomplishing the goals of the commitment. To see the full list of firms, click here.
How to Hire for Diversity
The recruiting channels of the past may not produce the diverse talent that law firms and corporate legal departments are currently looking for. Other available resources include:
  • Most law school campuses have bar associations for underrepresented groups, including women and minorities. Reach out to these students and encourage them to apply to your firm.
  • Check out the Bar Association meetings of the various minority bars. Attend their student-recruiting opportunities, to meet with students who are interested in exploring opportunities with your firm.
  • Recruit for diversity at different levels within the firm: at the entry level with summer associates, at the mid-level through lateral recruitment of associates, and at the partner level by recruiting qualified women and minority partners to your firm.
  • Hire a diversity consultant.
  • Partner with a legal recruiting professional and discuss your firm’s goal of becoming more diverse. An experienced and well-connected legal staffing firm will be able to advise and hire accordingly.