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How law firms can learn from In-house

Posted by: Laurence Simons 09/04/14

Corporate clients ask us to specify exactly what we do to identify and recruit diverse candidates. We are given information about the organization's track record, motivation, and future plans with respect to diversity in the workplace. We have specific and detailed conversations designed to ensure that qualified diverse candidates are making up a meaningful portion of the candidate pool for any particular role.

What law firms can learn from In-house

In corporate speak, there are 'action items' surrounding diversity hiring at multinationals. It is simply not good enough for corporations to state that they hope to see diverse candidates as some stage in the process, for some position. There is a resolution and a plan to ensure that it happens. 

Additionally, we see that corporations do an effective job of communicating up and down in the organization.  Usually, a person in Human Resources is accountable for promoting diversity. The Hiring Manager on each role must be equally committed. The legal recruiter working to fill the role should be challenged to identify and recruit in accordance with the goals in the organization, as well. Thus, all of the participants and decision-makers have the same vision. 

On the law firm side, we see so many great efforts undertaken by various stakeholders at the firm. We struggle to think of a client who does not have a committee devoted to diversity, and/or a Director of Diversity. Again, the commitment is there without question. But I have seen much more across-the-board buy-in and communication within in-house departments than I have in law firms.