Vault's 2012 Best Law Firms for Diversity

Vault's 2012 Best Law Firms for Diversity

Diversity: many candidates seek it, many clients demand it and many law firms tout it. But which firms are delivering when it comes to recruitment and retention of diverse candidates? At the sixth annual Vault/MCCA Legal Diversity Career Fair this past Friday, Vault revealed the results of its diversity rankings, and one firm stole the show: Carlton Fields.

Vault's diversity rankings are part of our annual law firm associate survey and have been a critical aspect of the survey since its inception; the survey is in its 14th consecutive year. This year, Vault received responses from nearly 16,000 law firm associates from approximately 300 law firms. Associates were asked to rate their firms' commitments to diversity regarding women, minorities and LGBT. Vault's diversity rankings are unique in that they are derived from the insights and ratings of insider associates.

Taking the top spot for Overall Diversity for the third year in a row is Carlton Fields. According to a Carlton Fields insider, "Carlton Fields treats diversity as a priority . . . . The firm has a very strong tradition, and is simply not following the trend." Joining Carlton Fields in the top ten for Overall Diversity are:

1. Carlton Fields
2. Littler Mendelson
3. Ropes & Gray
4. Jenner & Block
5. Weil, Gotshal & Manges
6. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
7. Shook, Hardy & Bacon
8. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison
9. Foley Hoag
10. Debevoise & Plimpton

[Click here to see the top 25 firms for Overall Diversity]

Carlton Fields also came in at No. 1 in the rankings for Diversity for Women and Diversity for Minorities, while Jenner & Block took the No. 1 spot for Diversity for LGBT. A Jenner & Block associate shared, "We are one of the more diverse firms that I am aware of, both in Chicago and nationally. I think we really succeed at GLBT recruitment, and do a great job at recruiting women as well."

Also notable is Ropes & Gray's performance in this year's diversity rankings-Ropes is the only firm to rank in the top 3 in each of Vault's diversity rankings categories: Overall Diversity, Diversity for LGBT, Diversity for Women and Diversity for Minorities. "My impression is that the hiring team at Ropes is putting a very good effort into recruiting minorities of all kinds, including with new initiatives aimed at recruiting 1Ls," said an associate from Ropes and Gray.

Below are the top 3 firms in each of the subcategories of Vault's Law Firm Diversity Rankings. You can find the full rankings here.

Diversity for LGBT

1. Jenner & Block LLP
2. Ropes & Gray LLP
3. Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP

[Click here to see the top firms for Diversity for LGBT]

Diversity for Women

1. Carlton Fields
2. Littler Mendelson P.C.
3. Ropes & Gray LLP

[Click here to see the top firms for Diversity for Women]

Diversity for Minorities

1. Carlton Fields
2. Littler Mendelson P.C.
3. Ropes & Gray LLP

[Click here to see the top firms for Diversity for Minorities]

Read the full post by Mary Kate Sheridan on is the source of employer and education ratings, rankings and insight for highly credentialed, in-demand candidates. Vault's editorial mission is to empower candidates with unbiased research needed to evaluate the professions, industries and companies they aspire to join.

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