Although the United States has seen an upward trend in the amount of minorities and women employed in business, recent surveys still show the percentage employed is still despairingly low. Andrew Crumbie, a lawyer who received his J.D. from the Michigan School of Law, is a highly successful minority who owns and manages his own firm in New England who is hoping to see a change in the numbers in the near future. As his firm sees a great deal of growth and success, he notes that half of the lawyers he has employed are women and majority are minorities. He credits much of his firm’s success to the diverse background of the lawyers in his employ who enjoy a very cohesive and culturally rich work environment. He believes this leads to a better understanding of a wider range of clients they are able to serve on a more individualized basis.
Despite employers such as Crombie who offer irrefutable evidence to the success of minorities in his firm, many companies are still behind on the number of minorities in their ranks. A 2011 report from the Directory of Legal Employers Diversity and Demographics of the National Association for Law Placement shows that 43.45% of law associates are women while only 14.54% have reached the status of Partner at their firms. The numbers are even lower for people of color with 19.9% of associates identifying as minorities and only 6.56% of these minorities making partner. This leaves a highly disproportionate percentage of 36.75% of associates identifying as a non-minority group and 73.9% of partners.
Although the numbers have seen a slow but steady increase since the Civil Rights era, the change is simply not happening quickly enough but employers like Andrew Crumbie are making these changes become a reality every day.