Addressing Diversity Challenges In Law Firms

The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism will launch its Diversity and Inclusion Project to uncover the real reason why there is a lack of diversity in Illinois’ law firms by going straight to the source – minority, LGBT, and female lawyers.

The initiative is centered around interviewing lawyers who have left their respective law firms to fully grasp their decisions for leaving and reveal what would have encouraged them to stay.

From these anonymously-collected interviews, the Commission will formulate a publication spotlighting best practice procedures that will help Illinois law firms retain, and eventually, increase the number of diverse lawyers within their firms.

To lead this project, the Commission on Professionalism formulated a Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board made up of volunteer members of the bench and bar throughout the state who were chosen based on their involvement in bar organizations and other legal entities devoted to diversity.

Committee members will be tasked with directing these interviews, analyzing the data and ultimately publishing their findings for the accessibility of local law firms.

Commissioner William F. Moran III of Springfield, believes this project will provide great perspective for both law firms and its employees, stating,

Diversity is a form of strength, and to bring together different voices and viewpoints only enhances it.

By facilitating this dialogue, the Diversity and Inclusion Project plans to create opportunities and open doors for minority, LGBT, and female lawyers throughout the state of Illinois, and set an example for other states to follow suit.

About the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism

The Commission on Professionalism was established by the Illinois Supreme Court in September 2005 to foster increased civility, professionalism and inclusiveness among lawyers and judges in the State of Illinois. By advancing the highest standards of conduct among lawyers, we work to better serve clients and society alike. These duties we uphold are defined under Supreme Court Rule 799(c). For more information, please visit 2Civility.org, the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism’s website.


Jayne Reardon
Executive Director of the Commission on Professionalism

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