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The Diversity Scorecard contains detailed information on minority legal staffing levels at law firms in the NLJ 350 and Am Law 200. Key data points include:
* Number of U.S. citizen attorneys;
* Percentage of minority attorneys;
* Percentage of minority partners;
* Specific figures for major ethnic/racial groups: African-American or Black attorneys, Asian-American attorneys, Hispanic or Latino attorneys, and Multiracial/Other minority attorneys
* Breakdown by partner and non-partner attorneys
The American Lawyer surveyed the country’s largest and highest-grossing firms, including the 350 biggest firms as ranked by The National Law Journal.
Firms are identified by the office with the largest concentration of attorneys. If a firm has no more than 45 percent of its attorneys in one region, it is considered national. If more than 40 percent of the attorneys are located outside the United States, the firm is designated international. Vereins are broken out separately because their structure, particularly regarding profit sharing, differs significantly from that of other Am Law firms.
Partner statistics include both equity and non-equity partners. Non-partner figures include associates as well as special counsel, of counsel, and other staff attorneys. We do not include contract attorneys. The heading "other minority" includes Native Americans and those attorneys who said they were multiracial. Lawyer countsare average full-time-equivalent (FTE) figures for the previous calendar year.
In our view, ethnic diversity is defined primarily in American terms. When you ask whether a firm is achieving ethnic diversity, you’re asking how well it’s doing in hiring minority Americans. In the past, some firms had trouble accurately reporting the citizenship of all their attorneys. For this reason, we now ask firms to count only the minority attorneys working in U.S. offices. Dividing that number by the number of all attorneys a firm employs in the United States gives us the percentage of a firm’s U.S. attorneys who are members of ethnic minorities.
In the past, rankings were based only on the minority percentage of all U.S. attorneys. Starting in 2009, we revised our rankings to stress the importance of hiring and promoting minority attorneys to partnership positions. Our new diversity score was created by adding the minority percentage of all U.S. attorneys at the firms surveyed to the minority percentage of all U.S. partners at those firms.
In addition, the Diversity Scorecard includes female staffing data, which is self-reported, unpublished data gathered as part of the NLJ 350.