Diversity group gauges legal profession inclusion

By James Barnes

20 September 2012 at 12:32 BST

Diversity campaigners are to monitor the ethnic and gender composition of the US legal profession, in a move that follows a bid to prod bar leaders in the country to include the issue in guideline conduct rules.

Surveying attitudes in the US

The new project – conceived by the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession (IILP) -- will measure the success of the US legal profession in becoming more diverse and inclusive. The IILP says the research – called ‘The Measure of Success’ – will provide a ‘clear picture of what the profession’s perceived goals and inclusion objectives are’.


The survey is expected to reach a large population of legal professionals, with the IILP welcoming input from all areas to understand the short- and long-term goals, expectations and successes of diversity initiatives.
The institute’s chief executive, Sandra Yamate, explained: ‘By developing new data points and taking the pulse of the profession, we can gauge where we are, where we are going, and how to best achieve our goals. We need to identify tangible goals, and develop new approaches to finding consensus on what success is.’
The move comes just days after the IILP called for diversity commitments to be included in the American Bar Association's professional conduct rules.

Judicial gaps

Elsewhere, a comparative European report has dealt a blow to the UK’s slowly improving judicial diversity after it revealed that only Azerbaijan and Armenia employ fewer female judges.
The Guardian newspaper reports that the Council of Europe report found only 23 per cent of judges in England and Wales and 21 per cent in Scotland are female.


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