The Latest Law Firm Diversity Survey Results Are In!

Published: Aug 12, 2020

Topics: Diversity       Law       Workplace Issues       

We are pleased to announce that the results of the 2020 Vault/MCCA Law Firm Diversity Survey are available.

More than 230 law firms took part in the annual survey this spring, and their responses are now available in the Vault/MCCA Diversity Database and on the profiles of participating law firms. Participants include virtually all of the Vault Law 100, along with dozens of other large, midsize, and smaller firms across the country.

The survey responses provide a detailed look at law firm demographics, with attorney headcounts by race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and disability status. The data includes figures for summer associates, associates, equity and non-equity partners, of counsel, and attorneys serving in leadership roles and addresses law firm hiring, promotion, and attrition.

In addition to sharing demographic data, firms were also asked to discuss the specific steps they are taking to foster workplaces that are diverse, inclusive, and equitable—from pipeline programs and law student outreach to affinity groups, mentoring programs, and other initiatives to improve the retention of diverse attorneys.

As conversations about racial equality and justice take place across society, the Law Firm Diversity Database provides a window into what law firms are doing to ensure equal opportunities and a means of gauging how successful those efforts have been.

Vault and MCCA have been conducting the Law Firm Diversity Survey since 2004, and 170 of this year’s 233 participants have taken part consistently for more than a dozen years, making the Law Firm Diversity Database an invaluable tool for measuring progress in the profession.

On the whole, that progress has been painfully slow. While law firms are hiring more women and people of color than they did a decade ago, the level of diversity diminishes dramatically the higher one moves up the leadership ladder. Nearly 90 percent of law firm partners are white, and 75 percent are male. Just 2 percent of equity partners are Black.

In the coming months, we will highlight some of the latest metrics and industry trends. We will also look at the results of our annual Law Firm Associate Survey to reveal how diverse associates themselves feel about their careers and their firms’ approaches to diversity and inclusion.

In the meantime, you can review the information reported by participating firms in the Law Firm Diversity Database, and, for a big-picture look at the state of the profession, download a copy of Vault’s 2019 Diversity Survey Report here.