In the past few years, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) have become increasingly important in the workplace. This is especially true in the legal domain, where equality and justice play a big part in the field and in establishing our societal norms. In the legal system, strengthening DEI programs is necessary to establish a legal space representative of our people. Here are just some ways to strengthen the DEI program in your legal organization.
Understand What’s Currently Going On
To begin working on DEI programs in your organization, you must fully understand where your company is at. Conducting research into your firm’s or company’s current situation is the best way to figure out where to begin promoting DEI programs. When analyzing the demographics of judges, associates, partners, and all other legal professionals, you can begin to identify areas that need improvement. What are your company’s DEI goals? And what are you doing to make sure the company hits those goals?
Your Recruiting and Retention Strategy
The turnover rate of your company can be a great indicator that your DEI programs need some work. Even if your company is hiring diverse candidates but the turnover rate is extremely high, this can be a good measure that these new candidates do not feel valued enough. 84% of respondents say a lack of attention on diversity and inclusion contributes to employee turnover. To attract and retain diverse candidates, implementing DEI program strategies that are still relevant after the candidate is hired is important. Creating an outlet for communication or even mentorship programs can increase your firm’s DEI value immensely.
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Develop Or Modify Mentoring Programs
When you have established good mentorship programs, a diverse company culture can thrive. An attorney who is just starting out and a seasoned veteran lawyer should both learn from each other’s cultural experiences. Creating a deeper relationship between colleagues will result in a company culture that is more inclusive and understanding.
Celebrating diverse groups of people is one of the most effective ways to foster DEI. Planning communication, trainings and events centered around these groups can be helpful in strengthening your firm’s DEI. Pride Month, Hispanic History Month, Black History Month, and Women’s History Month are all examples of ideal times to focus on DEI in your company.
Collaborate With Other Bar Associations
Collaborating and participating with bar associations that are diverse can help foster a stronger sense of DEI within your firm. You can encourage and applaud members to join bar associations that focus on women, minorities, and the L.G.B.T.Q.I.A. by allowing time off to volunteer at events or even proving sponsorship to become a member.
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The Importance of Making DEI Programs Stronger
Implementing strong DEI programs is no longer just something that ‘new,’ ‘innovative’ firms are doing. Quality DEI programs are expected in any field, especially the legal space. It is not a secret that making a commitment to strengthen DEI programs is easy. There are multiple layers that go into proving a successful and diverse company culture. With effort from leadership and effect strategies in place, DEI programs can extremely benefit your employees and firm.
Today, promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at your firm is something that can have lasting effects. Being prepared and having a strategy on promoting DEI can lead to establishing a firm where people of all backgrounds can succeed. And as always YM Careers Network can help streamline your company’s process, producing results you can be proud of.