Although law schools have seen rising representation of diverse racial and ethnic groups among students, minorities continue to represent disproportionately small percentages of lawyers within large corporate law firms. Prior research on the nature and causes of minority underrepresentation in such firms has been sparse. In this paper, we use data on a national sample of more than 1,300 law firm offices to examine variation across large U.S. law firms in the representation of African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asian-Americans. Overall, minorities are better represented in offices located in Western states and in major metropolitan areas; offices that are larger and affiliated with larger firms; offices of firms with higher revenues and profits per partner; offices with greater associate–partner leverage; and branch offices rather than principal offices. They are equally distributed between offices with single-tier and two-tier partnerships. Distinct patterns emerge, however, when the three groups are considered separately and when hierarchical rank within firms is taken into account.
Gorman, E. and Kay, F. (2010), "Racial and ethnic minority representation in large U.S. law firms", Sarat, A. (Ed.) Special Issue Law Firms, Legal Culture, and Legal Practice (Studies in Law, Politics, and Society, Vol. 52), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 211-238. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1059-4337(2010)0000052010Download as .RIS
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