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Diversity Initiative

Managing Partners' Diversity Initiative

Building a Diverse Community of Lawyers in Columbus

A pledge. A plan. A great change.

"In a competitive environment, in a diverse country, in a global economy, law firms must seek to reflect the face of the clients we serve. It has always been the right thing to do. Now it is a business as well as cultural imperative."
- Columbus Managing Partners' Diversity Initiative

In 2001, the Columbus legal community made a historic public pledge to significantly increase the racial diversity of its ranks. Twenty of the city's largest law firms joined the Columbus Bar Association, the John Mercer Langston Bar Association, which is comprised primarily of African American attorneys, and the two area law schools, the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and Capital University Law School. Together, they signed a five-year commitment to attract minority law candidates to the city, increase the number of minorities hired out of law school, and create an atmosphere that encourages minority attorneys to advance in their firms and ultimately become partners. The project was known as the Columbus Managing Partners' Diversity Initiative.

The Managing Partners’ 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 create an ecosystem and pipeline supporting and connecting central Ohio diversity and inclusion organizations.


The Columbus Bar Association's Managing Partners' Diversity Initiative released #CbusBarSpeaks in October 2020, a publication that gives attorneys a forum through which they can share their perspectives on diversity, relay their own experiences with overt and systemic racism, and express support for others in the community. The publication compiles letters of support, artwork, submitted articles and resources into one place. #CbusBarSpeaks was created as a joint effort with the John Mercer Langston Bar Association, the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Central Ohio, the Arab American Bar Association of Ohio, and the Hispanic National Bar Association


Kari Murphy
Director of Diversity

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