Centering inclusion in firm communications: Ada Oni-Eseleh writes for New York Law Journal
In our latest contribution to New York Law Journal, Infinite Global Senior Client Supervisor Ada Oni-Eseleh spotlights the importance of inclusion in “DEI” and how communications practices can contribute toward broader inclusion efforts.
It’s no secret that law firms have had an—often rude—awakening to the importance of authentically prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion in their organizations and approach to legal services. In the nearly two years since the murder of George Floyd, a broader racial reckoning within the legal industry has spurred many of the country’s top law firms to become more vocal about their commitments to meaningfully centering DEI.
For many firms, this has involved launching new diversity-oriented initiatives and hiring diversity professionals to drive change and address the industry’s dismal diversity record. The number of minority attorneys in the country’s top law firms is just 18.5%, and that’s up from 17.8% in 2020, according to the 2021 American Lawyer Diversity Scorecard. Meanwhile, the number of minority partners sits at just 10.9%, a 0.6% increase from 2020.
The recent flurry of activity to improve those numbers, while important, highlights a glaring issue that stunts genuine progress: the singular focus on the “D” in “DEI.” As noted in a recent American Lawyer article, “Law firms have dedicated a great deal of focus to increasing diversity, but many are falling short on enacting meaningful changes to improve equity and inclusion.”
To genuinely move the needle on DEI, law firms need to take a comprehensive approach that addresses issues around inclusion. Inclusion must be centered in everything firms do—and in everything they say. As the crucial link between firms and the messages that reach the market, legal marketing and communications teams play a key role in driving inclusion through firm communications. It is imperative that professionals within these departments understand the importance of inclusion and how inclusion-oriented communications practices directly contribute to firms’ broader DEI efforts.
Continue reading on New York Law Journal (subscription required).