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Beyond Diversity Inclusiveness In The Legal Workplace

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Support your inclusiveness initiative with the following list of resources.

National Diversity Conferences

Films for Programming Diversity and Inclusiveness in Individual Organizations

Recommended Films or Discussion Groups:

  • Color of Fear - (Insightful film about the state of race relations in America as seen through the eyes of eight North American men of Asian, European, Latino and African descent.)
  • Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible - (Features experiences of white women/men who have worked to gain insight into what it means to challenge notions of racism and white supremacy in the United States).
  • Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North - (Filmmaker Katrina Browne discovers that her New England ancestors were the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history. She and 9 cousins retrace the Triangle Trade and gain a powerful new perspective on the black/white divide).
  • Incident at Oglala- (Michael Apted examines the legality of the case against Native-American activist Leonard Peltier who was convicted of murder).
  • Daddy and Papa - (Documentary explores the growing phenomenon of gay fathers and their impact on American culture through the stories of four families).
  • Two Towns of Jasper - (Documentary about the racially motivated murder of James Byrd, Jr. in Jasper, TX in 1998. Film records the divergent experiences of black and white Jasper residents during the three trials of the local men charged with chaining Mr. Byrd to the back of a truck and dragging him to his death).
  • What's Race Got to do With It? - (Social disparities and student success documentary considers social disparities and their impact on student success in today's post-civil rights world).
  • Meeting David Wilson - (Tracks the journey of an African-American man (David A. Wilson) to North Carolina to meet a descendant (David B. Wilson) of the white Southern Family that owned his ancestors during the slavery era).
  • Race-The Power of an Illusion - (Three-hour series by CA Newsreel that questions the very idea of race as biology, suggesting that a belief in race is no more sound than believing that the sun revolves around the earth. Yet, race still matters).

Books on Diversity and Inclusiveness Programming for Individual Organizations

A.  Recommended Reading for Discussion Groups:

  • Reeves, Arin N. Next IQ: The Next Level of Intelligence for 21st Century Leaders
  • Turner, Caroline. Difference Works: Improving Retention, Productivity and Profitability through Inclusion.
  • Myers, Verna. Moving Diversity Forward: How to Go from Well-Meaning to Well-Doing
  • Wise, Tim. White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son
  • Thompson, Cooper, et al. White Men Challenging Racism: 35 Personal Stories
  • Robinson, Randall. Quitting America: The Departure of a Black Man from his Native Land
  • Dyson, Michael Eric. Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster
  • Singley, Bernestine. When Race Becomes Real: Black and White Writers Confront their Personal Histories
  • Tatum, Beverly Daniel. Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?
  • Williams, Lena. It's the Little Things: Everyday Interactions that Anger, Annoy, and Divide the Races
  • Kendall, Francie. Understanding White Privilege
  • Kozol, Jonathan. Amazing Grace
  • Rubio, Phil. A History of Affirmative Action: 1619-2000
  • Wise, Tim. Affirmative Action: Racial Preference in Black and White
  • Cole, David. No Equal Justice: Race and Class in the American Justice System
  • Reiman, Jeffrey. And the Poor Get Prison: Economic Bias in American Criminal Justice
  • Loden, Marilyn. Implementing Diversity
  • McBride, James. The Color of Water
  • West, Cornel. Race Matters
  • Wise, Tim. Speaking Treason Fluently: Anti-Racist Reflections from an Angry White Male
  • Tepagnier, Barbara. Silent Racism: How Well-Meaning White People Perpetuate the Racial Divide
  • Zia, Helen. Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People
  • Graham, Laurence Otis. Member of the Club
  • Graham, Laurence Otis. Our Kind of People
  • Cose, Ellis. The Rage of a Privileged Class (Why do Prosperous Blacks Still Have the Blues)
  • Carter, Stephen (Yale Law Professor). Reflections of An Affirmative Action Baby

B.  Recommended Reading for Structural Changes:

  • Robertson, Mark & Calloway, James. Winning Alternatives to the Billable Hour: Strategies that Work.


Resources on the Business Case for Diversity and Inclusiveness

CLI's article "Diversity Really Does Matter," provides compelling answers to why diversity matters in the practice and business of law. Learn about cutting-edge theory and recent research studies, such as Dr. Reeves' new framework for increasing intelligence and excellent client service, as well as new research findings about gender and racial/ethnic diversity.  The article was published in the NALP Bulletin, September 2012 issue, on behalf of the NALP Diversity Section.

Corporate Legal Officers' "Call to Action" - In 2004, Rick Palmore, then General Counsel for Sara Lee Corporation, drafted the "Call to Action" document, urging corporate General Counsel to take a stand for diversity in the legal profession within their own legal departments and the law firms with whom they work. In 2005, a new call to action was created to move law departments and firms beyond words of commitment to committed action with measurable results. In 2009, Rick Palmore formed the Leadership Council for Legal Diversity to bring together the leaders of law firms and corporate legal departments to address diversity in the legal profession.

Additional Articles


Pipeline Resources

  • Wingspread (Preschool-20 Leadership Pipeline): Named for the Johnson Foundation Conference facilities in Racine, WI, this series of meetings involves P-20 educators, the bench, the bar and all groups committed to working across the educational continuum to ensure the success of diverse students in high school and college. The group's goal is to enhance these student's aspirations and capacity to move into positions in the legal profession and in the leadership of the nation. To join listserv, email
  • Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO): A nonprofit project of the ABA's Fund for Justice and Education. Program expands opportunities for underrepresented groups in the legal profession through LSAT preparation and a six-week prelaw summer institute taught by law professors. 
  • The Pipeline Diversity Directory (Project of ABA Presidential Advisory Council on diversity in the Profession and the Law School Admission Council) - Directory is a searchable database of programs that encourage and prepare minority students for legal careers.
  • Legal Outreach, Inc. College to Law School Pipeline Diversity Initiative 
  • National Bar Association Pipeline Programs 
  • Street Law, Inc.
  • INROADS : Provides leadership development training for diverse students and places those students in internships at top corporations, firms and organizations.
  • Diversity Pipeline Alliance: Network of national organizations that seek to prepare students and professionals of color for leadership roles in the workforce.

National Specialty Bar Associations

Resources on Recruitment and Retention

American Bar Association (ABA) 

National Association of Law Placement (NALP)

Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA)

Defense Research Institute (DRI)

Association of Legal Administrators


  • Vault/MCCA Guide to Law Firm Diversity (published annually)-Provides information on the number of women, minorities and LGBT attorneys at each level, in addition to law firm diversity efforts

Project for Attorney Retention (PAR) Conducts research and compiles best retention practices for law firms/other legal employers-addressing work/life balance, part-time law practice, women in the legal profession, etc.

Other Articles

Lists of Diversity Best Practices


Resources on the Experiences of Diverse Attorneys in the Practice of the Law 

Diverse attorneys experience the practice of law very differently than their majority counterparts, according to several major research studies conducted since 2006. To understand the root causes of staggeringly high attrition rates among diverse attorneys, especially in private practice, the results of these research studies must be understood and the issues addressed in legal organizations through the development of cultures of inclusion.



"Beyond Diversity: Inclusiveness in the Legal Workplace" Resources: CLI's toolkit for creating the manual and program

CLI's Inclusiveness Manual - Beyond Diversity: Inclusiveness in the Legal Workplace  - gives legal organizations the tools to create inclusive workplaces. Through its innovative inclusiveness program, CLI is helping the legal community address their long-term diversity goals.

Learn more about this one-of-a-kind resource - the Inclusiveness Manual.  

Learn more about CLI and its other inclusiveness initiatives.

Resources for Diversity and Inclusive Excellence


Diversity: The extent to which a legal organization has people from diverse backgrounds and communities working as attorneys and staff. Organizations that focus on diversity devote most of their resources to recruiting.

Inclusive organizations are not merely diverse in composition; importantly, they are learning-centered organizations that value the perspectives and contributions of all people, and strive to incorporate the needs and viewpoints of diverse communities into all aspects of the organization. Inclusive organizations are, by definition, diverse at all levels.

Inclusive Excellence*: Inclusive Excellence moves the legal profession away from a simplistic definition of diversity to a more inclusive, comprehensive and omnipresent notion of diversity that has the following features:


  • Shifts the responsibility for diversity to every person in the institution as opposed to one person or department shouldering the entire responsibility of diversity. Thus, inclusive excellence becomes the domain of everyone - leadership, attorneys, and staff.
  • Shifts the organization away from conceptualizing diversity as a numerical representation (numbers only) of diverse attorneys and staff, to transforming the organization into a vibrant community that embeds diversity throughout the institution in multiple areas including (but not limited to): demographics (numbers), policies, financial resources, leadership, hiring, professional development, marketing, technology, communications, administration, recruitment/hiring/promotion, assessment/evaluation, institutional advancement/promotion and compensation.
  • Employs a broad and inclusive definition of diversity that includes disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, disability, religion, nationality, age and other important historically underrepresented groups that are part of the legal community.


* The concept of "Inclusive Excellence" was first developed by the American Association of Colleges & Universities as a guiding vision for the higher education communityand advances "Making Excellence Inclusive" to achieve that vision. Visit the AAC&U website for more information.


National Organizations/Clearinghouses Addressing Diversity


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