Dallas Diversity Task Force
2012 Executive Summary & Progress Report
The 2012 Law Firm Diversity Report (“2012 Report”) prepared by the Dallas Diversity Task Force (“Task Force”) presents a snapshot of the racial and ethnic diversity of lawyers practicing at the 20 largest law firms in Dallas County. The Task Force surveyed the 20 largest law firm offices in Dallas County, Texas, based on information reported by the Dallas Business Journal. The list of surveyed firms in 2012 is the same as it was in 2010 and 2011.
The 2012 Report provides composite scores that measure minority attorney representation at the surveyed firms. The methodology for calculating the firms’ composite scores remains unchanged from previous years. A firm’s composite score is based on a firm’s number of minority attorneys, depth (i.e., number of equity partners vs. other attorneys), and breadth (i.e., diversity across minority groups). The composite score measures firms against two benchmarks: the population of the State of Texas (“Texas Demographics”) and the racial and ethnic composition of the members of the State Bar of Texas (“Texas Lawyer Demographics”).
The 2012 Report also includes checklist scores that measure the firms’ diversity efforts to recruit, retain, and promote minority attorneys. A firm’s checklist score is based on a checklist of diversity efforts that a firm undertook during the survey period. A firm’s checklist score is not used in calculating its composite score.
With seven years of data, the 2012 Report provides an opportunity to evaluate Dallas firms’ progress over time. Only two firms exceeded the lower benchmark of Texas Lawyer Demographics. No firm met the higher benchmark of Texas Demographics.
· Fourteen firms improved their composite scores from 2011 to 2012. Of these firms, four are currently at their highest scores since the survey began in 2006 (although one firm has only been in the survey since 2010).
· The average composite score for the largest law firms in Dallas County increased from 46.88 in 2011 to 49 in 2012, after three years of steadily declining (51.6 in 2009, 50.01 in 2010 and 46.88 in 2011).
· 95% of participating firms reported interviewing at minority job fairs, and 45% reported hiring from minority job fairs, which is up 15 points (30%) from 2011 and 25 points (20%) from 2010.
· The composite scores for six firms decreased from 2011 to 2012.
· None of the firms met or exceeded the Texas Lawyer Demographics for African-Americans/Blacks (down from three firms in 2010 and one firm in 2011).
· Just 55 (approximately 6%) of the 840 equity partners at the surveyed firms are minority lawyers, even though minority attorneys make up almost 12% of the total number of all attorneys at these firms and more than 16% of the State Bar.
· Fifteen percent of the firms surveyed have no minority equity partners at all, 70% have no African-American/Black equity partners, 55% have no Asian-American equity partners, 45% have no Hispanic/Latino equity partners, and 75% have no Native American equity partners.
Since 2010, the Firm Efforts Checklist included questions regarding attorney attrition at the largest 20 Dallas County firms to determine whether efforts to retain minority attorneys have been successful. All but four firms responded to these questions. Although the Task Force is not releasing the complete attrition data, we are providing brief summary highlights:
· In an improvement from 2010, of the 16 firms that responded, the data show that minority attorneys terminated employment at a slightly lower rate than for non-minority attorneys for the second consecutive year (7.6% of all minority attorneys vs. 8.9% of all non-minority attorneys).
· Not surprisingly, turnover in associate ranks continue to be higher than that of partners (11.2% of associates vs. 5% of equity partners). However, minority partners terminated employment at a higher rate than non-minority partners, with turnover of 7% for minority partners (vs. 4.7% of non-minority partners).
· Nine firms that responded had no turnover of minority associates during the relevant time frame, from June 1, 2011, to May 31, 2012.
For the complete 2012 report, click here.
For the 2011 report, click here.
For the 2010 report, click here.
For the 2009 report, click here.
For the 2008 report, click here.
For the 2007 report, click here.
For the 2006 report, click here.
Dallas Diversity Task Force Participating Organizations
Formed at the suggestion of the Dallas Hispanic Bar Association, the Task Force is comprised of representatives from the Dallas Asian American Bar Association, the Dallas Hispanic Bar Association, and the J.L. Turner Legal Association (the African American bar association of Dallas County). Working together, and by consensus, representatives from each organization contribute different perspectives and histories toward the end of increasing the recruitment, hiring, retention, and promotion of attorneys of color in Dallas.
The Task Force recognizes that racial and ethnic minorities are but one category of diversity, and that tracking and evaluating the progress of other minority-lawyer groups, such as women and GLBT lawyers, is important. Accordingly, the Task Force has offered to share our work with other groups interested in crafting a study of other types of diversity. The Task Force, however, again chose to focus on racial and ethnic representation to spotlight the Dallas law firms’ efforts, failures, and successes in hiring and retaining attorneys of color. We sincerely hope that this report encourages future studies on other aspects of diversity in the Dallas legal community.
The Dallas Asian American Bar Association (“DAABA”) was founded in 1988 to promote the interests of Asian American attorneys and the Asian American community. DAABA provides marketing and networking opportunities for its members, mentoring programs for law students and pro bono legal assistance for Asian Americans. DAABA is a chapter of the National Asian/Pacific American Bar Association. (http://www.daaba.org/)
The Dallas Hispanic Bar Association (“DHBA”) began as an informal association in 1969 and was formally organized as the Mexican-American Bar Association of Dallas in 1978. Its membership includes attorneys practicing in Dallas and the surrounding areas, judges, law students and non-lawyers who join as associate members. The DHBA aims to provide legal services to the Hispanic community, to enrich and ensure the success of its members in the legal profession in Dallas, and to actively become involved in issues affecting the Hispanic community. The DHBA is an affiliate of the Mexican-American Bar Association of Texas and the Hispanic National Bar Association. (http://www.dallashispanicbar.com/)
Founded in 1952, J.L. Turner Legal Association (“JLTLA”), is the African American bar association in Dallas, Texas. It is also an affiliate chapter of the National Bar Association, the nation's oldest and largest national association of predominately African American lawyers and judges. JLTLA is an organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life in the African American community through education, service, and scholarship. JLTLA members provide legal assistance to indigent residents in the North Texas area, provide scholarships to law students demonstrating financial or other needs, provide attorney mentors for law students, perform educational and other community outreach projects for North Texas area residents, and assist our members and the community in seeking African American attorneys who practice in the various areas of law. (http://www.jltla.org/)