Best Law Firms For Diversity 2015

The legal profession isn’t exactly one that is lauded for its diversity. Women lawyers are still being told how to dress and minorities working the industry have it much worse when they commit typos.

Even if the law sector has major downsides when it comes to race, gender and sexual orientation in the workplace, that doesn’t mean that law firms aren’t making an effort to be as diverse as possible.

Vault.com, the career intelligence website, has released a report that ranks law firms depending on their diversity score. Before we get to the results, let’s look at the methodology used to assess this score:

The rankings are based on the results of Vault’s annual survey, administered earlier this year to nearly 17,000 law firm associates. We asked participants to rate their employers on a variety diversity initiatives including recruitment, retention, promotion and mentoring efforts with respect to minority, women, LGBT individuals, individuals with disabilities and military veterans. We then averaged the scores in all five categories to determine the 25 Best Law Firms for Overall Diversity.

The results are as follows:

  1. Ropes & Gray
  2. Littler Mendelson
  3. Carlton Fields Jorden Burt
  4. Paul Hastings
  5. Schiff Hardin
  6. Debevoise & Plimpton
  7. Shook, Hardy & Bacon
  8. Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner
  9. Alston & Bird
  10. Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz

The rankings, with a comparison to 2014, can be seen here.

Some big movements were seen, compared to the same list a year before. Ropes & Gray has become the new king of diverse law firms after overcoming Carlton Fields after a five-year streak. Finnegan Henderson has broken in the top 10 after being at the bottom of 25, which clearly indicates that many things have changed there.

What about the firms that fell out of top 10? Those would be Jenner & Block and Cleary Gottlieb and they are nowhere to be seen on it this year. Not a very reassuring factor, considering the factors that are being used for ranking.

The following law firms have won the first spot in the respective categories:

Diversity for Women: Schiff Hardin
Diversity for Minorities: Littler Mendelson
LGBT Diversity: Foley Hoag
Diversity for Individuals with Disabilities: Ropes & Gray
Diversity for Military Veterans (new category this year): Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner

If you’re just graduating and looking to work with a firm that values human diversity, you can’t get better than this.

Do you work at one of the mentioned firms? Would you like to share your experience with the readers? Get in touch with us and we will publish your report so that it may help other aspiring law students.