Over the past year, millions of Americans coast-to-coast poured into the streets to protest racial injustice. This uprising, which was striking in its size, breadth, and staying power, has thrust our nation into a conversation about many long-simmering racial issues such as diversity in the workplace. As a result, companies are rethinking how to address this issue.
At Great Jakes, we saw this first-hand when clients—all of which were large law firms—reached out to us to discuss overhauling the Diversity sections of their websites. These clients now perceived Diversity as an existential issue because (1) large buyers of legal services have made it a requirement, and (2) the best hires—laterals, new attorneys, and staff—were insisting on it.
What makes a good Diversity section?
This outpouring of interest prompted us to consider the following: What makes a good Diversity section? What information should be communicated? And, what is the best way to convey that information?
To answer these questions, the Great Jakes team recently looked at the Diversity content on over 100 large law firm websites. Below are the standouts. If you feel that we missed any, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will consider adding it to the list.
Axiom, the law firm that isn’t a law firm, has a beautifully designed Diversity section. Its graceful layout is peppered with colorful charts, graphs, photos, and pull-quotes. And there is barely any text. In fact, we couldn’t find more than two contiguous sentences in the entire section, which is remarkable (and highly impactful). Also, the page contains links to two other elements worth reviewing: a Diversity Report PDF and a letter from the company’s (female) CEO that begins, “Diversity is a business mandate, but it’s also a personal mandate.” Visit Website
Wiley didn’t skimp on the photo budget when creating its Diversity section, which prominently features a series of lush, candid photos showing a diverse array of employees happily collaborating. It feels good.
The content is also noteworthy. Check out the message from the Managing Partner, Peter Shields, as well as the list of Pipeline Initiatives. Additionally, there's a beautifully designed Diversity Report PDF that includes some charts and graphs that don't appear on the website. Visit Website
Davis Wright Tremaine
Davis Wright Tremaine has gone all-in on its Diversity section, which is packed with great information. Despite its girth, the DWT Diversity section is a pleasure to consume, thanks to engaging imagery, well-designed information graphics, and a variety of testimonials and callouts. Be sure to check out the Attorney Affinity Groups described on the main page. Also, there is a spectacular video about the firm's participation in Microsoft’s Law Firm Diversity Program. Visit Website
Porter Wright, a midsized Ohio-based firm, is definitely performing above its weight in the area of Diversity. Its Diversity section is elegantly designed, and chock-filled with information about its various initiatives such as the Diverse Attorney Network, LGBTQ Equality Alliance, and Women’s Leadership Initiative.
The long-running Q&A Series on the Women’s Initiative Page is a model for firms that want to profile the career paths of their diverse attorneys. Visit Website
The Jackson Lewis website is a striking shade of purple. This color choice comes across as a subtle dig at the blue-loving patriarchy that has long dominated the culture of big law. So, it's no surprise that the firm's Diversity section is a standout.
The Jackson Lewis Diversity section employs a single-page structure that allows for easy navigation. Additionally, the section is neatly formatted with charts, graphs, and bulleted content that make it a pleasure to consume the information. Be sure to check out the “Diversity & Inclusion in The News” section (toward the bottom of the page), which pulls relevant items from the firm's News module. Visit Website
Crowell & Moring
Crowell & Moring’s Diversity section opens strong with a list of high-profile honors and awards. We were immediately won over by recognition from The Human Rights Campaign, Working Mother Magazine, and the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, among others.
The Crowell Diversity section also does a great job profiling its Diversity Speaker Series by featuring snapshots of past speakers. These include writers and dignitaries such as Judge Victoria Kolakowski, who was the first openly transgender trial judge in the country, and Gilda Daniels, the former Deputy Chief of the U. S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. Visit Website
Dinmore’s website departs from the norm for Diversity by going all-in on affinity groups. In addition to a main “Diversity” section, the site features separate multi-page sections for each of its three affinity groups: LGBTQ, Women, and Minority attorneys. Each section is packed with information and peppered with engaging photos, graphics, testimonials, and videos. The website also does a great job teasing noteworthy content in the sidebars. Visit Website
McGlinchey demonstrates that a Diversity section doesn’t need to be big to be good. Lots of compelling information is packed in a single page. For example, take note of the four key facts that appear directly below the intro text. One of those callouts tells us that 100% of the members promoted in 2020 were diverse. Visit Website