Plan for a Great Change in Columbus

"The changes we are making in our firms to recruit, retain and promote minority talent make the entire organization smarter and healthier - a better place to work for all attorneys."
--Columbus Managing Partners' Diversity Initiative

The Managing Partner's Diversity Initiative is based on a detailed five-year plan. When participating organizations sign the plan, they commit to taking specific action steps to improve and report on diversity in their group.

The first five-year plan, from 2001-2006, was especially successful helping firms improve recruitment of minority attorneys. For example, recruitment action steps included: review hiring criteria to ensure it does not disproportionately screen out minority candidates; actively recruit at law schools with significant numbers of minority law students; monitor the number of minority candidates interviewed.

The second five-year plan, from 2006-2011, built on the experience of the first five years. It identified four focus areas: retention, recruitment, law firm culture, and infrastructure for inclusion and incorporated a comprehensive menu of best practices addressing each of those focus areas. Firms also agree to donate program fees, and they contributed $85,000 earmarked for the focus areas.

The third five-year plan, from 2011 - 2016 identified retention as the primary objective in order to maintain the progress gained through practices implemented the first ten years. Retaining talent is a function of understanding the drivers of attrition and the reasons for "regretted-losses" (voluntary departures of attorneys the firm would have liked to retain) and then creating strategies to eliminate them. A study commissioned in 2011 interviewed Columbus attorneys of color departed from law firms and identified mentoring, firm culture and insensitivity as areas to target.

The Managing Partners' Diversity Initiative has developed the fourth five-year plan. The 2016-2021 plan is focused on the future while preserving the accomplishments of the previous plans.

Download the Five-Year Plans