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Elite law firm’s all-white partner class stirs debate on diversity

Noam Scheiber and John Eligon write in the New York Times, "The post appeared on LinkedIn in early December: Paul, Weiss, one of the country’s most prominent and profitable law firms, said it was “pleased to announce” its new partner class. In the image, 12 lawyers looked out at the world, grinning. What followed, however, was nothing to smile about. In short order, people across the industry began to comment that all of the faces were white, and only one was a woman’s.

“I was literally looking on LinkedIn when I saw the picture and my mouth dropped open,” said Michelle Fang, chief legal officer of the peer-to-peer car-sharing company Turo.

Above the Law, a widely read industry website, archly mocked the firm’s “commitment to putting the white in white shoe.” A group of general counsels, the people who hire elite law firms, began discussing how to respond. They later published an open letter, signed by officials at companies like Lyft, Heineken USA and Booz Allen Hamilton, calling on firms like Paul, Weiss “to reflect the diversity of the legal community” or they would send their business elsewhere." READ MORE>>

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