Advancing Diversity In Legal: It All Comes Back to Work Allocation


Originally recorded on the Pricing Matters Podcast by Digitory Legal. Digitory Legal is now part of BigHand. Learn more here.

Aurelia Spivey, Marketing Consultant with BigHand, chats with Lisa Kirby, Chief Intelligence & Knowledge Sharing Officer at Diversity Lab, Leila Hock, Director, Legal Department Partnerships & Inclusion Initiatives, Diversity Lab, and Catherine Krow, formally the Founder of Digitory Legal, currently the Managing Director of Diversity and Impact Analytics at BigHand, to find out how Pricing, Innovation, Client Value, and Legal Project Management teams can help to prevent the potential negative impact of the current crisis on all the advances that have been made in diversity in the legal industry.

Lisa Kirby brings 20 years of experience in the legal profession to Diversity Lab. She has served as a practicing attorney, talent management professional, and law firm consultant. Lisa began her career as a litigator, practicing at two large law firms. She then spent several years as a professional development manager at Goodwin Procter LLP, where her contributions included helping to launch and lead the firm’s Women’s Initiative and developing a new parent coaching program. As a consultant with Edge International, Lisa advised a wide range of domestic and international law firms on strategic and talent management issues.

At Diversity Lab, among many other duties, Lisa has led the creation and implementation of the needle-moving Mansfield Rule, now in its second certification year. She is a sought-after speaker who has been featured as a keynote speaker, presenter, and panelist on a variety of topics related to diversity & inclusion in the legal profession. Lisa also is a prolific author, having contributed articles on innovative ideas in diversity and professional development to publications like The American Lawyer, Law Practice, and Professional Development Quarterly.

Lisa received her B.A. in English and French, magna cum laude, from Colgate University in 1996 and graduated with high honors from The George Washington University Law School in 2000.

Leila Hock joined Diversity Lab with over 10 years of experience in the legal field, as a law firm associate, in-house counsel, and coach and consultant to law firms and associates. Leila began her career in the corporate practice at Mayer Brown’s Chicago office. She then spent three years practicing in the in-house legal department at Kraft Foods, supporting the global contracting needs of Kraft’s procurement and outsourcing teams. When the call of the mountains hit, Leila took a role as the first and only US in-house counsel for a global oil field services company in Denver, supporting all of the company’s US legal needs. Throughout her legal career, Leila supported a diverse legal workforce by creating and managing internship programs for diverse candidates and taking an active role in affinity groups for women and diverse counsel.

In 2015, Leila completed her professional coaching certification with the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching and began a successful private coaching practice. Leila worked with several law firms and legal groups to develop professional development curricula geared toward business development and enhancing the “softer” skills required to advance in today’s professional world.

Top three takeaways from this episode

  • Clients are doubling down on Diversity. Legal Departments are being more deliberate in the diversity data and metrics that they require from their legal service providers.
  • Spotlight on Work Allocation. Ensure that diverse lawyers are doing career-advancing work and that during this crisis cutting-edge work is spread evenly across the firm.
  • You Can Make a Difference. From scoping and staffing, to matter management, you can keep diversity front of mind and play a role in advancing diversity in your firm or legal department.
Our profession, the law, is founded on justice. So I'm not sure how we can increase access to justice and make sure we're doing the right job for clients if we don't have a diverse pool of lawyers working to fight for those clients. on a systemic level.

Podcast Transcript:

Lisa Kirby 
Diversity matters to me because I think that we're missing out on everything that we could achieve in the legal profession and as a society in general because we're not effectively including everyone. We're shutting out a lot of people's perspectives and voices and creativity and talent, and intellectual gifts.

Aurelia Spivey 
Welcome to Pricing Matters, a podcast by Digitory Legal. Digitory is a data analytics and cost management platform and service, bringing data-driven pricing and cost prediction to law. My name is Aurelia Spivey, and I will be your host as we speak to leaders who are making an impact in legal pricing, discuss market trends, and find out from them why pricing matters.

Welcome to the Pricing Matters Podcast. This morning we've got some wonderful guests from Diversity Lab. Lisa Kirby and Leila Hock are joining us and so is Catherine Krow, the founder of Digitory Legal. We are going to be talking about the impacts of the current crisis on diversity in the legal industry and specifically how this audience can play their part in making sure that we don't backslide, as we saw in the 2008 recession. We're going to talk a little bit more about that later. But first, I think an important question to ask at this time is, how's everyone doing? So, Lisa, I'm going to start with you. How are you?

Lisa Kirby 
I'm okay, thanks. I am holding up, okay. You know, I suppose I should say I have a lot to be thankful for right now, but I'll complain a little bit about the weather here in New England, it is still in the 40s and raining in late April, but I'm doing okay. Thank you.

Aurelia Spivey 
Well, thank you for sharing and we look forward to some spring and some better weather. Leila, how are you doing?

Leila Hock 
I'm doing good. We at Diversity Lab, we've worked from home forever. So work life hasn't changed that much, except, now I have my husband in the same space, which is a challenge. I don't have kids, I have two dogs who are just thrilled to have us both home and walking them every time they get bored, which happens to be more often these days. And you know, I'm missing the anchor of kind of social interactions. I'm on the board of the Colorado Women's Bar Association here in Denver, which keeps me really anchored to the community. So starting to miss that, but all at all pretty good considering.

Aurelia Spivey 
Well, thank you for sharing that. Yeah, I think we've all reached that point where we all work from home, Catherine, and I do too, but it is just that sort of actual being in a space with people. Thank you for sharing that and I'm going to ask Catherine. Catherine, how are you doing?

Catherine Krow 
I'm doing well and I'm very grateful. You know, having kids, a spouse, a dog, everyone in your space, that is a little unusual, but I'm working from home has always been our normal. I do want to express, however, my empathy for those who are homeschooling and stretched in ways that people didn't think were possible. It's a very, very hard time for a lot of people and I just want to say that. So we understand that and our hearts go out to you as folks try to adjust to what is a very, very difficult time.

Aurelia Spivey 
I agree and I think I just keep saying, be kind to yourself because it's all you can do right now. So the reason Catherine and I brought Lisa and Leila on to the show is that we both shared Diversity Lab's commitment to diversity across the legal industry and we started following Diversity Lab's recent thought leadership, about the potential negative impact of this current pandemic. On all the advances that have been made in diversity over the past 10 years or so in the legal industry. So again, we thought it was really important to bring them both on the show, to talk to us about that, and find out what you as listeners can do to help make sure that that doesn't happen this time. But before we did into this important issue, I think it's first really helpful to you to hear a little bit more from Leila and Lisa about their roles at Diversity Lab and what they're doing there, and their journey to Diversity Lab. So I'm going to hand it over to Leila first.

Leila Hock 
Sure. So my role at Diversity Lab is working with our legal department partnerships, primarily. We're a pretty small, flat organization, so we all help out as needed on everything we have going on, which happens to be a lot right now. But I started here about two years ago and was primarily hired to support one of our sponsorship programs as the head coach for that program that we have implemented in law firms. Before I joined Diversity Lab, I was coaching for three years. I ran my own coaching business, working with mid-level successful professionals and, really focused on how to kind of get to the next level and approach their careers strategically. And before that, I practiced law. So I practiced law for about eight years, six years in-house, and two in a firm. So my in-house experience, I think has been quite valuable to Diversity Lab and it's fun to get to kind of remember that role and be in that perspective, but really focusing on DnI issues and how clients can drive DnI in the legal industry. So it's been a really fun couple of years.

Aurelia Spivey 
Fantastic and we're going to talk a lot more about that later. I'm going to hand it over to Lisa to share about her journey and your role at Diversity Lab.

Lisa Kirby 
Sure, so I'm also a recovering lawyer. And after practicing and two large firms, I spent some time helping these talent and diversity efforts at a few different firms and doing consulting as well and I've been at Diversity Lab for four years. Kind of continuing my passion for diversity and being on an amazing journey here, getting to test and experiment with so many innovative new ideas to really push the needle forward and work with an amazing team. Karen, our CEO is incredibly inspirational and a true thought leader and so it's really just such a privilege to get to work here. Such as to add, more specifically, I lead the Mansfield Rule and have done so since we launched it in 2017. I also am the Chief Intelligence & Knowledge Sharing Officer, so kind of have a hand and a lot of our other work, including the Move the Needle Fund that we just launched.

Aurelia Spivey 
Fantastic and I think I'm going to stick with you Lisa because we're going to get into some of the data now. So, what I'd love for you to do is share with our listeners, some of the important findings that the impact of the 2008 recession had on diversity in the legal industry that we've been reading about. 

Lisa Kirby 
Yea, absolutely. The 2008 recession, unfortunately, had a devastating effect on the modest progress made for diversity inclusion up until that point. So I think the issue is that in recessions when tough times come, and especially when things are unexpected or are moving quickly, firms and leaders are forced to make kind of quick decisions and we know from research that when you're making quick decisions on complicated subjects, that's kind of a prime time for unconscious biases to seep in. It, if you can make decisions slightly slower with a bit more structure and framework around them, you have a better chance of sort of managing out or minimizing the way that the role that unconscious biases can play. So the last recession, there's lots of evidence that the cuts that were made, and the financial issues disproportionately impacted diverse lawyers. In fact, it's pretty incredible, but it was not until last year, 2019, that the profession finally recovered from the decline in African American, Black associates that started with the recession. So it's pretty amazing and it affected things that you might not immediately come to mind. Of course, we think of layoffs and things like that, but even the gender pay gap increased incredibly in 2009. So women lawyers were only earning 80 cents on the dollar, of men's income back then. So not doing that great, but it actually went down to just below 75 cents in 2009. So another disturbing statistic, is that a full 50% of the equity partners who were terminated in that time, were women. So I do think there's a lot more attention to that now. I think, hopefully, we have learned from some of those steps backward, which have been really hard to rebuild and recover from. And now we've made even more incremental progress and so to go backward at this time, when when the progress has already been so slow, and unravel all of that in a sort of in all those years of work in an instance would be really problematic.

Aurelia Spivey 
Thank you for sharing those statistics and for the work that you're doing to try and prevent that sort of backsliding. What I wanted to talk next about is, and you sort of alluded to it in your answer, and I'm going to ask you again, Lisa and then Leila, to come in on this question is, what are the parallels and what are the differences that you're seeing between 2008 and now? That may give us a little bit of hope, but also show us some caution.

Lisa Kirby 
That's a really good question. I think that some of the differences I see are that firms now are much more cognizant of diversity and inclusion as an overall part, an important part of their mission and strategy. So it's not considered as much of a sort of side effort or sort of a fluffy thing that's nice to have. I think there's much more recognition, that it's something you absolutely need to have and that's partly due to the pressure being applied and encouragement from so many enlightened clients and legal departments, general counsels, who are pushing this and keeping, turning up the volume on their calls for diversity. So we have seen some different approaches. Some firms have cut pay across the board or temporarily offered sabbaticals, more creative approaches than just the sort of all-or-nothing layoffs that seem to be the only solution that firms employed for the most part back in 2008. So eliminating 401 K matching and things like that, I think it was much more of an approach of we're all in this together. Where you're seeing partner draws being withheld or reduced and things like that so that everyone's doing their share. So I do think that's encouraging and also the fact that clients are still beating the drum in terms of their expectations for diversity and inclusion has certainly helped keep that top of mind. So I hope that that will, all of this together, will mean that it's not as difficult of a result. I think that recessions and economic crises tend to exacerbate inequalities just on sort of a global level and across the board but it does seem like there's much more attention being given to minimizing that, for law firms. This time around and Leila, feel free to chime in.

Leila Hock 
Yeah, I would just add, you know, you're spot on Lisa, that clients are certainly keeping diversities on top of mine for their law firm right now. And we've seen over the past few years, legal departments made very concrete, specific requests of their firms, in a way that I don't think they were 12 years ago, and it's hard to pull back, and clients don't want to pull back on those concrete requests. So any requirements they put in place over the past for diversity or programs that they want their law firm to participate in, we won't see that backside. In fact, we've spoken with several legal departments in the past few weeks that are really doubling down on driving their law firm to increase DnI. Sometimes, in ways that I'm shocked, even before the COVID-19 crisis would have been a huge deal, and so it's very encouraging to see clients not let up this pressure and continue to remind their law firms at DnI is essential and will be considered when they are evaluating outside counsel. 

Aurelia Spivey 
It's really important for our listeners and their interaction with the clients in terms of innovation, pricing, and project management, it's important to keep that in mind that clients are not backing down on diversity and from what you're saying, maybe even doubling down on it, to ensure that we don't see that backslide. I wanted to bring in some of the programs, Lisa you mentioned Move the Needle and the Mansfield Rule earlier, and I wanted to give you both a chance to talk about the impact of those programs, at this time. If you're seeing anything from the firms that you're working with, in terms of how being part of those programs is making a difference in terms of their diversity initiatives right now.

Lisa Kirby 
One of the key aspects and sort of reasons the Move the Needle fund is so original, and I should explain it, it's five law firms coming together with over two dozen general counsel and Diversity Lab and community leaders, to commit to public transparent diversity goals over a period of five years. One of the innovative aspects of it, in addition to the fact that it's completely transparent and sharing lessons learned, as well as small wins along the way is that it's a collaborative effort. So, although we announced this in January, which seems like ages ago, we didn't really expect to come to such an enormous bump in the road, so soon, along the Move the Needle fund, five-year sort of journey. The fact that the General Counsel committed to working with and collaborating with and supporting the law firm sort of through thick and thin over the course of these five years, and that the law firms also committed to collaborating amongst each other and with the legal department, I think, has been a great source of strength for them, sort of confronting this unexpected, unexpected wrinkle. So it's great because also going back to what I said earlier, the General Counsel has publicly committed and in an action-oriented way to support this effort. I think that provides a little bit of insurance or sort of additional weight to the idea that they're supporting diversity, they're really in this for the long haul, five years come what may sort of rain or shine. And we've really seen that they've really stepped forward during this time to continue to emphasize that diversity and inclusion are important. The firm's also, we're working with them. Right now I have a call later today, we've been talking to them about how to double down on diversity inclusion. So one thing is work allocation. As diverse associates become literally less visible, they already, research shows that diverse associates spend less time out of work with partners who are members of the majority. So they tend to spend less time in social activities with their partners or on the golf course or what have you. Now, there's a risk that they'll fall even further through the cracks. So, work allocation and having some structure around that is particularly important. So that's one thing that the MDM firms are really interested in, putting something even more into place than what they already have. And Leila, you are about to speak.

Leila Hock 
Yeah, I was just going to say, I think when one way that some of the programs that we put out to the world, really help, is certainly on the legal department side. Legal departments lawyers, and individuals, they want to do something, but they aren't sure what, and all of our programs are, a little bit founded on a hope and a prayer, but they're primarily founded on behavioral science and data and research. We report back on the effectiveness of everything we do. So a legal department can decide to support an initiative that we are running and they know that it's research-based and we're going to continue to improve it and make adjustments based on what the data is showing. And that's the same thing for the Mansfield Rule too, we have great data. The impact that the Mansfield Rule is making an illegal industry as a whole and certainly in the law firms that have implemented it over the past three years. So when firms or legal departments want to do something, but they aren't sure what, they know that they can have a real research back behavioral science-oriented approach, that will make an impact and that will report back on the progress.

Aurelia Spivey 
Fantastic. Thank you for sharing that and I wanted to bring Catherine in at this point, as we're talking about data. Catherine, you've seen a lot of data in the work that we do here at Digitory Legal. So I'd love to know what advice you have for our audience, in terms of the role that they can play in diversity now and in the future. 

Catherine Krow 
Well, you hit the nail on the head when you said, I've seen a lot of data. I am a self-professed data geek at this point. One of the many reasons that I love Diversity Lab's work is that it is data-focused because I believe that really nothing moves the needle faster or more effectively than actionable decision-grade data. When I think about data and diversity inclusion, I want to go back to that work allocation piece, because I do believe that fair allocation around activities has a lot to do with how diverse attorneys are going to progress in the workplace. What I mean by that is this, there is a growing body of research showing that in particular, women in law, do not have the same access to career-advancing opportunities as men. And I say, in particular, because I'm thinking of a recent study that was published by the ABA that was very much focused on why women are leaving the profession, even experienced women, I think it's called walking out the door. One of the things that they found is that women do not have the same access to career-advancing opportunities as men. And there's another body of research that I've been seeing that shows that women are also doing a disproportionate share of work that, while important, does not advance careers in the same way as for example, taking expert depositions or arguing substantive motions. So when you put these two things together, women are getting a double whammy. They are with only so many hours in the day and having to fight harder for career-advancing opportunities, yet doing more of the less valued work, even though this work is important. They are leaving the profession in droves. What you can do about this is look at work allocation in a whole new way with data and that is actionable data that allows you to see who is doing what and compare the quality of work for diverse associates versus non-diverse associates and make sure that that allocation of both that really high-quality work, but also the work that is important, but less career advancing, is being fairly allocated. We use the billing data to do that. When we talk about concrete steps that clients can take or things that they can ask for, from their law firms, data that will show them not only that diverse associates are being staffed on their cases, but what those associates are doing, and that the career-advancing work is being evenly allocated. That is incredibly important and I think clients need to be asking law firms to provide them with data that is high enough quality, that they can get visibility into that incredibly important issue so that they can make decisions around it.

Aurelia Spivey 
Catherine, we work with a lot of pricing directors and legal project managers, and client value officers at the firms that we work with. So I'd love to know from you what you think they can do in terms of this diversity issue and ensuring that we aren't seeing the backsliding, as we saw in 2008.

Catherine Krow 
I go back to the work allocation issue, which is really so important. It's absolutely critical to ensure the progress of diverse attorneys throughout the industry. In the pricing process, there is always a piece about staffing, and thinking through who will be doing what. As that staffing piece is being put in place, and while budgets are created or fee arrangements, thinking about fair allocation of career-advancing work can and should be part of that. Who is taking those critical depositions? Who is going to be client-facing? So that's part one, for the pricing directors, but all the way through as the project managers are talking with the clients around the budget to actual and scope changes, and resourcing issues, being thoughtful about what the attorneys are doing, what the diverse attorneys are doing, particularly versus their non-diverse counterparts, in making those decisions and resourcing decisions, and managing the project throughout. So keeping those issues, that issue of work allocation, top of mind, that fairness piece top of mind, throughout the pricing and project management process. But I would also turn it to the clients. It's not enough to simply ask for diverse attorneys to be staffed on your matters. Because when that happens you begin, as a client, to own their careers, and with that comes a responsibility. So when you're engaging with your client value officers, your pricing directors, the LPM folks at the law firm, be asking those questions about not only who is on your team, but what they are doing. Because you as a client have a responsibility to ensure that the diversity of not only your staff to your matters but that they are not just parked there, they are moving forward in their careers.

Aurelia Spivey 
I think it's incredibly important and I think it comes back to a question that I had for Lisa as well. You talked about the work allocation as an example, I'd love to know if you have any other examples, or to build on that example of best practice, in terms of what firms can be doing right now.

Lisa Kirby 
Going back to work allocation, pay attention to who is and isn't getting work. Maybe a partner and each practice group can monitor work allocation, specifically, to ensure everyone's getting their fair share. There's, someone from a firm pointed out to me recently, there's a lot of new work and new cutting-edge work coming out of COVID-19 and that is the kind of high visibility, really interesting, and challenging work, that can really push someone's career forward. So it's particularly important there. Ensure that associates and even partners have someone assigned who can answer their questions. And I think, I'm a big fan of pulse surveys too, to frequently check in and how people are doing both personally and professionally, and what kind of support they need, I think, and have that be searchable by gender and demographic identity. So you can identify areas, sort of weak links, or areas where people aren't getting the support that they need. That's another example of data that can really inform decision-making. So it's more based on consistent and sort of accurate and broader information, rather than just anecdotal individual impressions, which right now, since we're not exposed, we have a very limited, more narrow sphere of who we're exposed to day to day. For many people, that's crucially important. So I think that's what I would say.

Aurelia Spivey 
Excellent. Thank you. I think that pulse surveys are a great idea. I don't know if firms are doing that, but it is a great way when we're all remote to get a handle on how people are doing. I love that example about the fact that there is cutting-edge work out there at the moment and ensuring that that is spread across the firm, and I think those are great examples.

Lisa Kirby 
Hopefully, some of this will carry forward to back when people are back in the office. I think some of these outreach efforts the pulse surveys and that sort of thing can be deployed anytime, anywhere. And if they become more of a practice, I think that that would be really helpful, then firms would have sort of a data loop or a feedback loop, and they'd have a baseline and then a way to measure differences. It can be a lot in this time when everything's so fast-moving, and decisions are being made quickly, whether or not we're facing a pandemic. Just a once a year sort of employee engagement survey, or something like that, isn't really the right tool, or the only tool that I think people should use.

Leila Hock 
I would just pile on to that, especially when you, as a law firm are thinking about how to engage with your clients, right now. Clients have been doing that kind of stuff already, right? There, I know, one large legal department that we work with, they actually pulse their surveys or their employees on a daily basis. So when their employees open their computer, there's just one question they have to answer, and it changes every day, but that gives them a lot of information on kind of where the organization is from, like a cultural perspective. I think that is one way that law firms can start to behave and act like their clients and understand where they're coming from going forward, is really checking in with employees on a systematic basis. So you can get the data that you need to course correct if you're not really implementing the right strategy.

Aurelia Spivey 
So I'm glad you started talking about legal departments because my next question for you Leila was about what should clients be asking for in terms of diversity, as they undergo panel reviews and consolidation. Which is, I think, happening anyway, but it's probably inevitable in a time like this, that there will be more focused on spend. So, how do we keep diversity front of mind and when you're on the client side? 

Leila Hock 
Yeah, well, the short answer is to ask whatever you want, you are the client. But, when we really kind of look at holistically the legal industry as a whole, we recommend really focusing not just on who is performing your work, for your legal department, although I understand that's important to you and you should absolutely ask for that, but don't forget about asking the firm about their overall numbers at a high level. So look at the leadership of the firm, look at the equity partner of the firm, as a whole. Then you can see how that compares to the information or I'm sorry, who's working on your individual matters because that's a really interesting comparison. What we don't want is firms moving all of their diverse associates and partners to the clients that are asking but not actually seeing growth and change in the industry or the firm as a whole. So that's the first one, which is really focused on leadership. I would say also, like I said, ask for whatever you want. I'm starting to see clients get more, aggressive isn't the right word, but more deliberate in what they're asking and actually putting the ask for who's getting the origination credit on the matters? Who and how are the associates that I love working with and go to, even though they aren't partners, are they getting some credit for this work? So really starting to ask the deep, hard questions that we know, helps people advance in their law firms and advocating them for them on their behalf. 

And the most important thing, when you ask for all of this data, is to actually follow up on it. So what we don't want like asking for all of this data, and trust me, it can be overwhelming, we work with legal departments and collecting the data and analyzing the data, it's a lot. But if you do ask for the data, make sure you're asking just for what you're actually prepared to work with and then follow up with your clients on it. So have a conversation, and hold them accountable to what you see in their data because otherwise, they have no incentive to actually change their behavior. When you ask for a bunch of data, a lot of firms tell us that it kind of goes into this black hole. They never hear back from their clients, they spend a lot of time and effort collecting it and putting it out there and putting it in every client's specific form that they want. So if you do collect the data, do follow up, and hold them accountable. And actually sorry, just one more piece, when you're looking at a law firm's data this really can and should be a year-over-year process. So we love the idea of kind of setting targets for, that are founded in data, the diversity of firms and diversity of the lawyers working on your matters, but really more important to focus on the progress that comes from those firms year over year. I recently read something, and I forget where it's from or how I would credit it, but we were talking about how diversity is a lagging measure of inclusion efforts. So what we don't want is firms that have maybe put in some great effective inclusion practices in the past year or two, but they haven't seen those numbers, the diversity and representation numbers increase as a result yet, we don't want those firms to be penalized. So focusing on progress often has more of an impact than just the hard numbers and representation.

Aurelia Spivey 
That's a great point, it's not taking just a snapshot in time, it's the full progress as firms are making changes and we're in keep encouraging them to make those changes. We're coming to the close of the podcast now. So thank you so much for sharing all of this with our listeners. We are on the pricing matters podcast and normally I asked the question, why does pricing matter? But I think given our subject today, I'm going to ask you, why does diversity matter to you? And, Lisa, would you be able to kick us off on that question?

Lisa Kirby 
Diversity matters to me because I think that we're missing out on everything that we could achieve in the legal profession and as a society in general because we're not effectively including everyone. We're shutting out a lot of people's perspectives and voices and creativity and talent, and intellectual gifts. There's a quote, that I'm going to badly paraphrase, but I think it's from Jesse Jackson, that, We didn't know how good baseball could be until everyone could play. We didn't know how good basketball could be. He said, I think, we don't know how good the tech industry can be until everyone can play. And that applies to the legal sector as well. So I think it's important, we're in an interconnected world and I think that we need to sort of truly achieve the ideals of fairness and equity and justice in the legal profession. 

Aurelia Spivey 
Thank you. Catherine, would you like to share why diversity matters to you and particularly why we made sure to get Diversity Lab on the podcast.

Catherine Krow 
So the legal industry, the legal profession, is something that I love, and I have been in for 20 years. But for me, personally, every step of the way in my career, I have been underestimated, in large part because I'm female. And that just made everything a little bit harder than it needed to be, in an already difficult profession. Now I have two young daughters and I get asked all the time, would you encourage them to be lawyers? I want to say yes, and we're getting there, but I want them to have the same chance as their male counterparts. I want it to be, while hard, no harder for them than it should be. And I think our profession can get there in my lifetime and that I can encourage them to be part of this great, great profession, but we have work to do. I want their experience to be different than mine and I want the experience of the next generation to be better. And that means working with companies like Diversity Lab, using data, and making changes so that our great profession is greater and fair.

Aurelia Spivey 
Thank you. I couldn't agree more. Leila, would you like to finish us off with this question? Why does diversity matter to you?

Leila Hock 
Sure, well, just personally, I'll echo what Catherine and Lisa said it's a matter of fairness. And that's always been kind of an important value of mine. So fairness, justice, it just makes good sense. I would also say that when we talk about some of these ways to support diverse lawyers and partners in the law firm, they're all about making the workplace better for everyone. Really, we're talking about remote work calls, checking in with your employment with your employees, this is something you could and you should be doing on a human level anyway. So it helps us, helps remind us really the person behind every lawyer, employee, client, etc. And then finally, our profession, the law, is founded on justice. So I'm not sure how we can increase access to justice and make sure we're doing the right job for clients if we don't have a diverse pool of lawyers working to fight for those clients. on a systemic level.

Aurelia Spivey
Thank you for sharing that. I think it's an important point, we are founded on justice. Well, thank you so much for being on the show this morning. I really appreciate hearing from all of you. 

Lisa Kirby & Leila Hock 
Thank you, it was our pleasure. Thank you so much for the opportunity. 

Aurelia Spivey 
That's good, I love that in unison thank you, it's gonna be beautiful. 

Thank you for listening to Pricing Matters, a podcast Digitory Legal. To find out more about our guests please visit our podcast page. If you have any feedback or guests that you think we should feature, please reach out to me. Thank you for listening, see you next time.

About BigHand Resource Management

BigHand Resource Management is a legal work allocation tool that allows law firms to identify resources, forecast utilisation, manage workloads and add structure to career development for lawyers. The solution delivers real-time visibility of team availability, improved profitability on matters and supports DEI goals and equitable allocation of work.

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