Written by Nicole N. Chapman
The legal profession, as a whole, has always been criticized for its lack of diversity. In fact, it is known as one of the five least diverse industries, which is why fostering diversity in the legal workplace is still a challenge today. And while law firms are increasingly recognizing that diversity and inclusion are a vital part of workplace culture, it still seems that some are motivated to “save face” by jumping on a social movement rather than actually taking steps to create more diverse and inclusive work environments. More than ever, it is absolutely necessary for organizations to acquire knowledge in order to “walk the walk” and provide opportunities to minorities from the start.
Social Diversity and Inclusion
Now more than ever, it is crucial to make positive changes around social diversity and inclusion in the workplace. For the legal industry (like all industries), taking a genuine stand against discrimination and actively working toward a progressive future can only benefit and
change it for the better. A diverse and inclusive industry will add to the well-being of employees and promote employee engagement by increasing confidence and reducing conflict. Diversity and inclusion in the workplace will also increase the range of ideas. For one thing, variety in perspective and background enriches and deepens our understanding for one another and our clients.
Expanding the Growth Of Individuals In The Workplace
But expanding the growth of individuals in the workplace who are of different backgrounds is not just about encouraging diverse applicants. “Walking the walk” is taking the onus on ourselves to bring access to diverse candidates in the first place. While other social institutions,
and higher education, specifically, certainly have a role in addressing this issue, the legal industry could and should take on a bigger responsibility to support minority law students in overcoming the roadblocks they may face throughout their lives and academic careers. In order to become more inclusive in the process of diversifying the industry, it is necessary for businesses to facilitate and assist the success of minority students during law school and post-graduation.
Without providing more opportunity for minorities from the onset, diversity and inclusion will continue to be rare or non-existent in the professional legal workplace. For its part, Hoban Law Group is committed to not only providing a diverse and inclusive workplace but to continuing its pursuit of knowledge as to how it can contribute to positive changes around diversity and inclusion throughout the legal industry and the world.
Nicole Chapman is a paralegal at Hoban Law Group (hoban.law) in Denver, Colorado. Ms. Chapman specializes in civil litigation and corporate. This article has been prepared for informational and general guidance purposes only; it does not constitute legal or professional advice. You should not act upon the information contained herein without obtaining specific professional advice. No representation or warranty (express or implied) is made to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this publication. Hoban Law Group, its members, employees, and agents accept no liability, and disclaim all responsibility for the consequences of
you or anyone else acting, or refraining to act, in reliance on the information contained in this publication or for any decision based thereupon.