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Chambers D&I North America Report 2021

Read about the research and work that went into producing the Chambers D&I report for North America and download the report for a full analysis of diversity and inclusion in the legal market. 

Published on 5 August 2021
Written by Luke Vincett
Luke Vincett

The Diversity and Inclusion Strategy Report

As Equality, Diversity and Inclusion increasingly becomes a core strategic objective for law firms, companies and the legal market as a whole in North America, after a year in which existing inequalities in the profession and society broadly were highlighted and exacerbated, we are delighted to launch the Chambers D&I North America Report 2021: Inclusion in the Legal Profession.

The report has been designed to provide best practice and actionable insights for legal professionals to create a far more inclusive legal sector. The Chambers report contains key case studies researched by the Chambers D&I team of key individuals and organisations shortlisted for the Chambers D&I North America Awards, including Toyota North America, U.S. Bank, CECO Environmental Corporation and our charity partner, Human Rights Watch.

Download the Chambers D&I North America Report 2021

The thoughts of legal professionals on the challenges and successes of furthering D&I in 2021

“The tragic events of 2020 have served to focus the legal industry on the twin goals of diversity and racial justice. This has been a welcome focus for the legal profession and will be a tremendous asset for the cause of justice and equality with many firms bringing significant resources and talent to the fight.”

Judge Ruben Castillo, Akerman LLP

“The killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, and the shooting of Jacob Black, among others, over the past few years have brought heightened visibility to the centuries-long issues of racial equity and ethnic injustice in the United States and around the world. Many, including companies large and small, have seized this moment to take action to combat racism in society and in the workplace.”

Chasity Wilson Henry Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, CECO Environmental Corporation

“I think it is important to plan strategically for any significant change. First, figure out your own organization’s unique operations, and tailor your efforts accordingly…In doing so, make sure to include those who might be most resistant to the change and listen to their point of view; adjust your plan accordingly.”

Susan M. Finegan, Litigation Partner, Pro Bono Partner, Mintz

“The legal industry was already increasing efforts around inclusion and diversity prior to the death of George Floyd. However, George Floyd’s vicious killing, the protests and other events in 2020 accelerated conversations, initiatives, and commitments among many in our industry.”

Jonathan P. Harmon, Chairman, McGuireWoods

“Perseverance is key because change takes time even though we believe it should happen overnight. Last, do not be afraid to jettison what is not working and try something new.”

Sharon Ng, Partner, Stinson LLP

Race equality in the workplace

The report highlights success stories of racial inclusion and justice being advanced within the legal profession and the communities in which the contributing organisations operate.

Chambers are delighted to share the report to highlight success and spotlight the fantastic work of leading law firms and organistions who are working hard to promote diversity and inclusion throughout their work and in their respective environments. A key point and focus of the report is designed to ensure that no law firm, company or individual feels isolated in their D&I journey.

Whether you are providing a partnership pathway in a law firm or funding racial justice in the community, there are other organisations on the same journey to collaborate with and share best practice. Together, the legal market can continue to create an inclusive environment for all to thrive in.

Working together, to create change

Chambers would like to thank the organisations that contributed to this edition of the report.