Dallas Diversity Task Force

2014 Executive Summary & Progress Report

 

The 2014 Law Firm Diversity Report ("2014 Report") prepared by the Dallas Diversity Task Force ("Task Force") presents a snapshot of the 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 2014 is different from previous years. There were two new additions to the list of the 20 largest firms in Dallas County: Baker McKenzie and Gray Reed & McGraw, PC. Baker McKenzie, Gray Reed & McGraw, PC, Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr, PC, and Strasburger & Price, LLP chose not to participate this year.

 

The 2014 Report provides composite scores that measure racial or ethnic minority attorney representation at the surveyed firms. The methodology for calculating the firms' composite scores based on racial or ethnic minorities remains unchanged from previous years. A firm's composite score is based on a firm's number of racial or ethnic 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 or ethnic composition of the members of the State Bar of Texas ("Texas Lawyer Demographics").

 

The 2014 Report also includes checklist scores that measure the firms' diversity efforts to recruit, retain, and promote minority attorneys. This year, the checklist scores reflect each firm's efforts as related to gay, lesbian, and transgender ("LGBT") and women lawyers. 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 nine years of data, the 2014 Report provides an opportunity to evaluate Dallas firms' progress over time. Based on 2014 results, (i) no law firm met the lower benchmark of Texas Lawyer Demographics and (ii) no firm met the higher benchmark of Texas Demographics.

 

Notable Developments

-Nine firms improved their composite scores from 2013 to 2014.

 

-The 2014 average composite score for the largest law firms in Dallas County remained relatively constant compared to 2013 with the average composite score for 2013 at 49.36 and 2014 at 48.87.

 

-87% of participating firms reported interviewing at racial or ethnic minority job fairs, 50% reported interviewing at LGBT job fairs, and 12% reported interviewing at women focused job fairs. 37% of the participating firms reported hiring from a minority job fair.

 

-81% of participating firms reported providing health care benefits to same-sex partners or spouses on economic par with health care benefits offered to non-LGBT attorneys.

 

-93% of participating firms reported providing paid maternity leave of at least 12 weeks, and 18% reported providing up to 18 weeks.

 

Other Developments

-The composite scores for seven firms decreased from 2013 to 2014.

 

-None of the responding firms met or exceeded the Texas Lawyer Demographics for:

(i) African-American/Black attorneys and (ii) Hispanic/Latino attorneys.

 

-Just 41 (approximately 6%) of the 681 equity partners at the surveyed firms are minority lawyers, a small decline from 2013 numbers and percentages, despite minority attorneys comprising almost 12% of the total attorneys at these firms and approximately 16% of the State Bar.

 

-12% percent of the firms surveyed have no racial or ethnic minority equity partners at all, 56% have no African-American/Black equity partners, 56% have no Asian/Asian-American equity partners, 43% have no Hispanic/Latino equity partners, and 68% have no Native American equity partners. While all the firms surveyed have women equity partners, none equaled the percentage of women lawyers in Dallas County, which is approximately 32%.

 

Attrition Data

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. Although the Task Force is not releasing the complete attrition data, a few summary highlights include the following:

 

-Of the 13 firms that responded, the data shows that 18% of all attorneys who ceased employment with the firms were racial or ethnic minority attorneys.

 

-Of the total attorneys who ceased employment with the firms, the data shows 38% were women even though women attorneys make up 32% of all Dallas County attorneys.

 

Selected Individual Firm Highlights

-Jones Day holds the highest composite score for this year, though it did not exceed the benchmark of Texas Lawyer Demographics.

 

-Locke Lord LLP has the most improved composite score, increasing its score from 2013 by more than six points.

 

-Carrington, Coleman, Sloman & Blumenthal, LLP, Hunton & Williams LLP, and Thompson & Knight LLP improved their scores by approximately four points.

 

-Norton Rose Fulbright and K&L Gates, LLP had the largest decrease in composite score, although it was by less than six points.

 

For the complete 2014 report, click here.

For the 2013 report, click here.

For the 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.

Comments? comments@diversitytaskforce.com 

 

Dallas Diversity Task Force Participating Organizations

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/)

 

The Dallas Gay and Lesbian Bar Association ("DGLBA") is composed of lawyers, law students, para-professionals, and related professional allies who share an interest in the laws that affect and protect the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered community. The DGLBA holds monthly luncheon meetings for its members where speakers provide continuing legal education on a broad range of topics affecting lawyers who represent LBGT clients. It also issues a monthly newsletter to approximately 200 subscribers on current topics of interest in LGBT law and the community. The DGLBA also holds networking events, gives scholarships to deserving law students, profiles its members on its website, and educates and promotes legal issues affecting the LGBT community.  (http://www.dglba.org)

 

The Dallas Women Lawyers Association ("DWLA") is a non-profit organization uniting for the mutual benefit of women attorneys and to elevate the standing of women in the legal profession. In 1968, a group of women attorneys in Dallas began to meet regularly to prepare programs and activities for the ABA Convention to be held in Dallas in 1969. After their success at the ABA Convention, the group continued to meet informally for mutual support. Founding members include Louise Raggio, Judge Sarah T. Hughes and Joann Peters. From these early meetings emerged the Dallas Women Lawyers Association. By 1980, DWLA was meeting for regular monthly luncheons at the Belo Mansion. In 1984, DWLA incorporated as a non-profit corporation, and included in its purposes uniting for the mutual benefit of women attorneys and elevating the standards of women in the profession. (http://www.dallaswomenlawyers.org)