The 5 Most Diverse BigLaw Firms in the U.S.

By Andrew Lu on August 03, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Law firms are traditionally stereotyped as a good ol' boys club. In other words, it's a place where old, white men reap in big salaries.

But as more and more women and minorities enter law school, the stereotype is slowly evolving. That said, some firms have evolved more quickly than others.

Vault and The American Lawyer recently came up with separate rankings for the top Big Law firms in terms of diversity, writes Above the Law's David Lat. (Lat rightfully says attorney of all colors are cracking into BigLaw, as long as they can generate plenty of green.)

It's interesting to note that the rankings vary wildly between the two organizations as they had different measures for "diversity."

According to Vault, the five most diverse law firms were:

  1. Carlton Fields
  2. Ropes & Gray
  3. Littler Mendelson
  4. Debevoise & Plimpton
  5. Jenner & Block

Strangely, only one of the Vault's top five firms even made The American Lawyer top 25 list. Vault's top firm for diversity, Carlton Fields, was ranked 22nd by The American Lawyer.

According to Vault, their diversity list was based on several factors that included sex, race, and sexual orientation. The American Lawyer list focused exclusively on the percentage of minority lawyers and partners at a firm, reports Above the Law.

So to get a true understanding of just how diverse the biggest law firms are, you may have to consider both lists in conjunction. The Vault list can give you some idea of how diverse your colleagues may be for a wider range of characteristics like sexual orientation, while The American Lawyer list will give you a better idea of how likely a minority will be promoted.

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