Diversity

What Could Disrupt Diversity in Law? The Economy, Stupid.

diversity“It ain’t happened yet, and that’s what intuition is.” – Kanye West

In the 1997 movie The Devil’s Advocate, Al Pacino’s character (aptly named John Milton) asks Keanu Reeves’s character (Kevin Lomax), “Did you know there are more students in law school than lawyers walking the Earth?” With an estimated average of 44,000 students graduating per year, there are six new lawyers battling for every job. In 1971, there was one lawyer for every 572 Americans. By 2000, there was one lawyer for every 264 Americans. The legal sector tripled between 1970 and 1987, but has grown at an average annual inflation-adjusted rate of only 1.2% since 1988. Perhaps the recent drop in law school attendance will improve this ratio (if the demand remains unaffected). How will the “new normal” affect diversity in Biglaw and the legal industry in general?

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