2017 Roundtable Discussion on Diversity Issues
Blank Rome Partner Sophia Lee, who is a member of the Firm’s Diversity Committee, served as a panelist for The Legal Intelligencer’s 2017 Roundtable Discussion on Diversity Issues. The event was held on April 17, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., at The Legal Intelligencer’s office conference room.
The biannual discussion is aimed at providing concrete solutions for issues that the legal profession faces in recruiting, hiring, and retaining minority attorneys. During the discussion, Ms. Lee commented on:
- the existing, implicit bias against using diverse professionals in the legal industry and how such biases impact decision-making both at law firms and in corporate in-house departments, as well as taking steps to prevent these biases from spreading;
- how effective diversity efforts come from “the top,” commenting on Blank Rome Chairman and Managing Partner Alan Hoffman’s commitment to diversity and inclusion as a core value of the Firm;
- ensuring that diversity and inclusion measures/efforts are also included in a firm’s compensation and evaluation process;
- the importance of developing a network of relationships at affinity bars for not only gaining mentors and sponsors, but also for developing leadership skills; and, last but not least,
- Blank Rome’s recent partnership with Diversity Lab’s Mansfield Rule, a pilot program that measures whether law firms have affirmatively considered women and attorneys of color—at least 30 percent of the candidate pool—for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, and lateral positions.