Gay lawyers in NYC make gains

, The National Law Journal


New York's gay lawyers are on a roll, according to a report by the New York City Bar Association. While women and minorities are seeing ups and downs in their numbers, it's all upwards for gay lawyers.

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What's being said

  • jisgur

    The positive trend in LGBT representation is encouraging. The "openly LGBT" qualifier is probably playing a stronger role moving the numbers than an increase in volume of LGBT attorneys entering large law firms.

    When you have firms creating LGBT friendly work environments in a state that has legislated marriage equality, you are likely going to see more LGBT professionals willing to self-identify.

    A related dimension of diversity to watch is how representation of attorneys with disabilities may change over time. According to the last NALP report less than a quarter of a percent of attorneys identified as having a disability. Given the large number of aging members of the bar and prevalence of non-apparent disabilities like depression, this number is absurdly low. A recent WA State Bar membership survey changed the question around disability to ask if members identified as working with various disabilities (e.g. hearing loss, vision impairments, mobility impairments) instead of just asking if they identified as "disabled". The % of attorneys self-identifying as working with a disability was significantly higher than past surveys.

    While sexual orientation, gender identity and disability are obviously quite different aspects of diversity, when stigma is reduced and employees feel comfortable self-identifying, firms create more inclusive workplaces and have more productive attorneys.

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