As a recruiter, I am very pleased to say that I have seen a dramatic increase in the number of minority hires at BigLaw, and while there still remains much work to be done in this area, I find myself reflecting upon the need for recruiting candidates from economically diverse backgrounds as well.
In addition to all the very valid social reasons one can present, from a practical business standpoint it simply makes sense. Client development in even the best of economic times is mandatory at firms of all sizes, and many of the next mega-successful entrepreneurs do not necessarily rise solely from the ranks of the elite. Many social psychologists would argue that the drive for economic success and recognition does not only arise from the economic elite.
I came across the following article which did a very good job framing some of the issues about this important matter.
“Associate recruitment season has finally wrapped up at the big firms: all those hours of interviewing, callbacks, law school receptions and endless committee meetings. Firms arrived at their hiring decisions after scrutinizing applicants’ law school and undergraduate grades, work experience, small talk and, let’s face it, race, gender and sexual identity (LGBT). Diverse law students are in short supply. And firms, admirably, are looking to address the inequities of past discrimination by aggressively recruiting women, gay and minority lawyers. Firms also want to make sure that their workforces more closely resemble the ranks of their clients than say, the U.S. Senate. These are important and commendable decisions. But along with this definition of diversity, firms should consider trying to identify candidates who come from economically diverse backgrounds, too.”
– Should Firms Look at Economic Diversity in Hiring? – The Careerist – http://thecareerist.typepad.com/thecareerist/2013/12/should-firms-look-at-economic-diversity-in-hiring.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+typepad%2Fpcnu+%28The+Careerist%29
- Don’t Be Afraid of Diversity (huffingtonpost.com)
- Why Now Is A Good Time To Apply To Law School (forbes.com)
- What Do We Really Mean, When We Talk About Diversity? (slaw.ca)