Several lawyers of color are sharing their experiences and wisdom in a new white paper, For Legal Employers: 16 Ways to Expedite the Advancement of Lawyers of Color.  The white paper is based on 23 interviews of attorneys of color across generations, ethnicities, geographic locations, and segments of the industry, to gain their insights into how legal employers have helped create opportunities for lawyers of color across the industry and what factors most benefit attorneys of color in overcoming the barriers they face to advancement in their legal careers.

It’s part of the Next Gen Leadership: Advancing Lawyers of Color initiative launched in May 2018 by the Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute, and seeks to help lower the hurdles that many attorneys of color face in advancing their legal careers.

The white paper covers 16 suggestions needed to retain and advance lawyers of color.  Interestingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, many of the actions suggested by interviewees focused on increasing inclusion through positive actions taken by senior white male attorneys who hold a majority of the positions of influence across the industry.

These 16 suggestions, all made by more than one interviewee, fall into three top themes that reveal what is needed to retain and advance lawyers of color. The three themes included: i) sponsorship to navigate law firm spaces; ii) access to critical assignments; and iii) an increased understanding on the unique experiences of attorneys of color.

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