On a panel about law firm diversity, Joseph West, president and CEO of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, said diversity has become a numbers game, which he called "a blessing and a curse."
On the one hand, West said, the legal profession clearly had ramped up efforts in recent years to recruit minorities and women. But those numbers didn't reflect the poor job many firms and corporate legal departments were doing at keeping and promoting those lawyers, said West, a panelist at the National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts annual conference in Washington.
The panelists highlighted how diversity affected their bottom line. Grace Speights, managing partner of the Morgan, Lewis & Bockius office in Washington, said she found that lawyers from different backgrounds approached cases and client matters in different ways, all for the better.