In 2019, the agenda included only one session on this topic. In 2022, every single time slot included a session devoted to DEI with an emphasis on DEI woven throughout the conference.
We are excited to share some key themes that emerged from the conference:
Quantitative Diversity Data is Table Stakes: In the US, clients expect diversity information to be provided at the timekeeper level and are pushing back on firms who decline to do so. If “decline to state” option is used, clients are asking why. More and more clients will not allow law firms to submit bills without providing diversity information for every timekeeper.
Focus on Diverse Staffing Plans: Increasingly law firms are expected to identify a diverse team from the outset. RFP providers have created tools to enable clients to ask questions about diversity and provide diverse staffing plans. Most legal departments require in-house to consider diversity metrics when assigning matters.
Accountability is the Greatest Challenge: Clients are including DEI metrics in performance reviews, but they recognize the limitations of quantitative data to understand whether diverse attorneys are doing meaningful work.
BigHand Resource Management's work allocation analytics enables clients to understand who is doing quality work across their matters and collaborate with their panel firms to advance the careers of diverse attorneys.