Open, Inclusive Columbus Attracts Minority Talent

"The word is getting out to law schools and law students across the country: open, inclusive Columbus is a great place to start your career. Committed action to recruit, retain and promote talented minority attorneys has made a profound difference in the opportunities available in Columbus."
--Columbus Managing Partners' Diversity Initiative

The Managing Partner's Diversity Initiative provides a working blueprint to help Columbus create a diverse community of lawyers. The current plan presents a coordinated approach to recruitment and retention by directing attention and resources to creating an ecosystem, or pipeline, to support and connect central Ohio diversity and inclusion organizations. There will also be a keen focus on mentoring as a vital part of retention.

We understand that the legal pipeline is in a precarious state. Shrinking law school enrollment leads to fewer new attorneys entering the profession, particularly minorities. We will address this challenge by identifying partners at each stage of the pipeline and designing an environment that fosters collaboration. The MPDI will convene local and state organizations that share the common goal of promoting diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.

Mentoring is a vital part of developing and retaining talented attorneys. The MPDI will build a program where students and new lawyers can access a network of mentors to guide them through each phase of career development.

Public accountability is built into the project, as firms agree to survey the racial diversity of their employees each year and publish the results in a joint press release. The racial groups tallied in the survey are: African-American/Black, Asian-Pacific Islanders, Native American Indian, Hispanic, and White.

As the program's coordinator, the Columbus Bar Association seeks to actively partner with member law firms, bar associations, civic and business groups, and law school organizations. Law students especially are encouraged to participate in the larger legal community through bar association activities.

All organizations stand to benefit from investing in Columbus's diverse community of lawyers.