In early December of last year, Paul, Weiss, one of the country’s largest and richest firms, announced its new partners: twelve young white lawyers, and one similarly hued woman.
Being that group identification is everything to certain well-placed people today, the announcement became an instant “public relations nightmare,” according to many media accounts. Sensitive to being sufficiently “woke,” many large companies had their general counsels, sign an open letter calling on law firms firms “to reflect the diversity of the legal community” or they would send their business elsewhere.
What is the assumption underlying that letter? Is it that whites were chosen over better qualified minority lawyers as an act of bigotry and racism? Noooo, nobody’s suggesting that. Are the signatories to the letter really saying that less qualified lawyers of color should be advanced rather than these lawyers? It can’t be that, can it? I would say that a law firm that does not make every effort to have the very best lawyers available for the benefit of the clients is treading close to unethical behavior. A firm can’t prioritize diversity, whatever than means, over its own abilities to represent clients.
I nearly dropped Above the Law, but the reliably knee-jerk left and ethically obtuse online rag is great for these stories, and didn’t disappoint this time. Joe Patrice, the editor, wrote, Continue reading