New York, NY–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – BUSINESS WIRE)–May 15, 2006–ALM’s Minority Law Journal(R) reported today that the overall percentage of minority lawyers at the nation’s largest firms continues to rise, steadily but slowly. At the 240 firms that provided ethnic data for the magazine’s 2006 Diversity Scorecard survey, 11.4 percent of lawyers belong to an ethnic minority group, up from 10.4 percent in 2005 and 10.2 percent in 2004. Just 5 percent of partners, however, are lawyers of color, a small increase from the 4.6 percent reported last year. The survey also revealed a new ranking leader, New York’s Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, where minorities represent 23 percent of total attorneys employed by the firm. The 2006 Diversity Scorecard results are featured in the Summer 2006 issue of the magazine and are also available on the Web at http://www.minoritylawjournal.com.
Among individual ethnic groups, Asian Americans registered the biggest jump in numbers. They now comprise 5.2 percent of all lawyers in the survey, up from 4.7 percent in 2005. African Americans made up 3.4 percent of lawyers, an increase from last year’s 3.1 percent, while Hispanic Americans accounted for 2.6 percent, compared to 2.4 percent in last year’s survey.
Although major year-to-year changes in the annual rankings are rare, six firms have increased their minority percentage by at least five points over the past two years. This group was led by San Francisco’s Gordon & Rees, where the firm’s percent of minority attorneys has grown from only 2.9 percent two years ago to 11.1 percent this year.
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati, headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., led the rankings with the highest percent of minority partners (17.6 percent), while Miami’s Greenberg Traurig reported the highest number of minority partners (57).
Paul Weiss displaced Miami’s Steel Hector & Davis, for years the most diverse firm in the country. (Steel Hector merged into a larger firm last year.) San Francisco’s Morrison & Foerster; Los Angeles’s Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith; New York’s Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; and San Francisco’s Townsend and Townsend and Crew are close behind Paul, Weiss, each with minority lawyers making up at least 22 percent of their numbers.
This year, the Minority Law Journal surveyed 255 of the largest and highest-grossing firms in the country, based on the The National Law Journal(R)’s NLJ 250 and The American Lawyer(R)’s Am Law(R) 200 rankings. A total of 240 firms reported ethnic data for this year’s Diversity Scorecard.
Diversity Scorecard spreadsheet data is available for online purchase through the ALM Research Store at http://www.almresearchonline.com. To subscribe or request back copies of Minority Law Journal, please call (800) 755-2773 or (212) 545-5990 outside the U.S.
Since 1996, the Minority Law Journal has provided a forum for the exchange of ideas on the application of diversity in the legal workplace. The magazine is published by ALM.
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