Statement of Goals for Increasing Minority and Woman Representation and Retention
1. The number of African-American, Hispanic-American, Asian/Pacific Islander-American and Native American lawyers (collectively "minority lawyers") practicing in law firms and corporate legal departments in the State of Arizona has long been small in relation to the total number of lawyers employed by such law firms, corporate legal departments and government and public agency law departments. Further, while there has been gradual improvement in the number of minority lawyers hired by government and public agency law departments and in the number of women lawyers hired by law firms, government and public agency law departments, and corporate legal departments being collectively referred to in this Statement as "law departments," the retention and promotion rates of women lawyers remain low.1
2. In a profession that has prided itself in leading the fight for equal opportunity under the law, it is essential that we make further progress in achieving greater representation of minority and women lawyers at all levels in law firms and law departments.
3. The increased number of minorities and women in the law schools, which now exceeds 20% and 40%, respectively, of graduating classes in Arizona law schools, affords an opportunity for increasing the representation of minority and women lawyers in firms and law departments, provided there is the will to do so and that concrete steps such as those enumerated below are taken.
II. Statement of Goals for Increasing Minority and Woman Representation at all Levels of Law Firms and Law Departments
EACH SIGNATORY TO THIS STATEMENT OF GOALS PLEDGES TO PURSUE THE FOLLOWING GOALS
(a) Full and Equal Participation of Minorities and Women: To achieve participation of minority and women lawyers at all professional levels in its law firm or law department.
(b) Minority and Women Hiring: To achieve the goal of hiring and retaining, during the period 1993 through 1998, a substantial number of minority and women lawyers, subject to the availability of minority and women applicants meeting the hiring criteria of such firm or law department. Each law firm, corporation and government or public agency adopting the goals set forth in this Statement will use its best efforts to achieve the goal of hiring and retaining during the period 1993 through 1998 a number of minority attorneys equal to 15% of the total number of all lawyers hired by such firm or law department.
Further, while we recognize and applaud the progress made over the past few years in increasing the number of women attorneys hired, each law firm, corporation and government or public agency adopting the goals in this Statement agrees to use its best efforts to continue progress in this area by hiring and retaining during the period 1993 through 1998 a number of women lawyers equal to 35% of the total number of all lawyers hired by such firm or law department during the period 1993-1998.
Larger firms and law departments adopting these goals should use their best efforts to achieve the goal of hiring and retaining in each year during the period of 1993 through 1998 a number of minority and women lawyers of 15% and 35%, respectively, of the total number of lawyers hired by such firm or law department.
(c) Minority and Woman Partners, Senior Corporate Counsel and Supervisors: To promote or to invite to partnership in each law firm, to senior corporate counsel in each corporate legal department, to supervisor in each government or public agency minority and women lawyers who meet the firm or law department's requisite criteria for partnership, senior corporate counsel, or supervisor. We believe this goal and the hiring goal set forth in the preceding paragraph are related and mutually dependent in that, if recruitment and retention programs are successful, then, over time, the number of minority and women partners, senior corporate counsel, and supervisors will correspond more closely to the percentage of minority and women lawyers hired by the firm or law department. Firms and law departments that have minority and women lawyers at the senior level are better able to recruit minority and women law graduates. The more successful a firm or law department is in recruiting, the more likely it is that more minority and womrn lawyers will achieve partnership, senior corporate counsel, or supervisor status.
III. Steps to be Taken by Firms and Law Departments in the Recruitment Process
EACH SIGNATORY TO THIS STATEMENT WILL PLEDGE TO PURSUE THE GOAL OF INCREASING THE NUMBER OF MINORITY AND WOMEN LAWYERS HIRED BY TAKING ALL OR SOME OF THE FOLLOWING STEPS:
(A) Expanding hiring criteria for all lawyers (minority and non-minority, male and female) beyond traditional law school indices to include such criteria as diversity and special skills that reflect greater societal and client concerns and trends, and other factors.
(B) Increasing the pool of minority and women law student applicants who meet the firm or law department's hiring criteria by: (i) augmenting interviewing efforts at law schools with significant numbers of minority and women law students; and (ii) identifying and actively recruiting minority and women students through placement administrators, faculty members, former summer associates and minority and women law student organizations at law schools and by job forums, receptions, and other activities for law students.
(C) To the extent a law firm or law department engages in lateral hiring, increasing the lateral minority and women attorney applicant pool by: (i) communicating with law school placement administrators and faculty members for referrals to practicing minority and women lawyers; (ii) requesting professional recruiters, when used, to include minority and women candidates in their searches; (iii) requesting minority and women bar associations for referrals; and (iv) requesting minority and women partners of law firms for referrals.
Recruiting minority and women applicants by involving partners, senior corporate counsel and supervisors in the recruitment process.
(D) Communicating to all lawyers the firm or law department's commitment to the goals set forth in this statement.
IV. Steps to be Taken by Firms and Law Departments for Retention and Promotion of Minority and Women Lawyers to Partnership and Management Positions
EACH SIGNATORY WILL PLEDGE TO CONTINUE TO PURSUE THE GOAL OF INCREASING RETENTION AND PROMOTION RATES FOR MINORITY AND WOMEN LAWYERS BY DOING THE FOLLOWING:
(A) Exercising diligence and sensitivity further to ensure that the opportunities for minority and women lawyers are equivalent to those provided to male, non-minority lawyers in the assignment of work on a consistent basis of the type necessary to develop skills and acquire experience for success and advancement;
(b) Enhancing programs aimed at increasing retention rates for all attorneys, focusing on allocation of interesting work, training and guidance, relationships with partners, senior corporate counsel, and supervisors, client contacts, feedback, and pro bono commitment;
(c) Exercising diligence and sensitivity to further ensure that the work environment is hospitable for minority and women lawyers and provide that:
- Minority and women lawyers receive opportunities to perform significant work assignments for important clients;
- Minority and women lawyers receive training, mentoring, guidance, feedback and opportunities to grow and succeed;
- Minority and women lawyers are included in work-related social activities with other lawyers and clients;
- Programs are adopted for all new lawyers that enhance their understanding of business concepts, client relations, and their confidence in dealing with such matters;
- Policies are adopted that prohibit law firm or law department sponsored functions at private clubs that discriminate on the basis of race, creed, religion, or sex.
(d) Ensuring equal opportunities for minority and women lawyers to achieve partnership, senior corporate counsel, or supervisor status by:
- Developing criteria for promotion to partnership, senior corporate counsel, or supervisor status;
- Guiding the development of minority and women lawyers;
- As minority and women lawyers near consideration for partnership, senior corporate counsel, or supervisor, assigning responsibility for important client matters to senior minority and women lawyers.
1. The goals set forth herein are not, nor are they intended to be construed as, requirements or quotas. Moreover, the goals are not intended to create rights in any person. As part of the Statement of Goals and Principles, they represent a commitment by each adopting law firm, corporation and government or public agency to use its best efforts to achieve such goals.
For purposes of measuring achievement of the goals set forth herein, the actual percentage in any year may be less than the long-range goals provided, however, that with respect to larger law firms and law departments, best efforts should be made for achievement of such percentage goals annually during each year of the five year period.
The performance and experience of firms and corporations in implementing these goals will be examined and evaluated by the Committee on Minorities and Women in the Law or its successor on an on-going basis. In 1998, recommendations will be made by the Committee to the State Bar for the establishment of new goals or other appropriate action.