Law Firms Are Struggling to Recruit and Retain the Employment of Black Women


By: Victor Trammell

A new report has been released by a countrywide organization, which specializes in advocating the employment of minorities at law firms based in America.

According to the findings of a study released by the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) this past week, law firms have hired an increased amount of minority attorneys over the last 10 years. The hiring spike for minority attorneys has been incremental throughout the years, but the gradual progress can be proven.

However, when it comes to black women, in particular, the numbers have been largely the same without any kind of growth to verify, according to the NALP report. The NALP’s data was extracted from its internal law firm directory, which keeps tabs on 112,000 attorneys, 1,082 law offices, and 700 law firms across the country.

In an interview with Bloomberg Law, NALP executive director James Leipold said that the stagnant hiring progress being made for black female attorneys at American law firms over the years has been a long-term reality. “Minority women in general are the least well represented, that’s always been the case,” Leipold told Bloomberg.

Looking at this dismal reality begs the question of why it is happening. In her exclusive interview with Bloomberg, Paula T. Edgar, president of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association gave a good reason why it is hard to hire and maintain the employment of black women at America’s law firms.

“[Black women] leave because the firm culture is not conducive to success for people of color or people of color who are women,” Edgar told Bloomberg.

Trina Moore, secretary of the Association of Black Women Attorneys also conducted an interview with Bloomberg in which she shared her personal experience over this issue.

“I was in four law firms in New York City and stayed maybe less than two years at all of them because of, among other things, lack of support and the foreseeability of making partner at that particular firm,” Moore said.

Moore has left the private practice law world to take her talents to the governmental sector, according to Bloomberg. Black women can avert the damnation they receive in the private practice legal sector by starting their own firms, which is happening in places like Atlanta, Georgia.

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