“Overcoming Bias in the Legal Industry and Paving a More Inclusive Path Forward”July 30, 2020
In an article published online in Lawyer Monthly on July 30, 2020 and in the August print issue, Partner Jonathan Hughley details his experiences overcoming bias in the legal industry and changes that need to be made in order to make the legal sector more inclusive.
“Law school is a critical environment for not only education but also networking and career development. It is critical for law students to be able to access professional development opportunities that can lead to a full-time job. However, unconscious bias in schools disproportionately impacts Black students and can have a devastating effect on their grades and long-term career prospects,” Hughley explains.
The article details a few of Jonathan’s experiences that negatively impacted his law school experience and, in turn, summer associate opportunities.
“In response to each of these experiences in law school and at my first firm, I took it upon myself to show my superiors that not only was I capable of producing high-quality work product, but that I was willing to put in whatever time was needed to get it right if something was askew. That oftentimes translated to working far longer hours than my peers while having the understanding that the additional work may never actually be recognized or appreciated,” Hughley said.
For the legal industry to progress, all firms should implement initiatives that attract new, diverse talent, and retain the talent they already have. From awareness and education to recruiting to community involvement, there are numerous opportunities for law firm of all sizes to move the industry forward.