Economy’s effect on diversity

October 7, 2009
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According to the Minority Law Journal’s Minority Experience Study, minorities are feeling the effect of the economy worse than their Caucasian counterparts. The survey asked midlevel associates (third-, fourth-, and fifth-year associates) a series of questions, including whether they were actively seeking other jobs, whether they’d be at their current firm in two years, billable hours, and pay cuts.

According the survey, almost a third of African-American respondents, and nearly a quarter of Hispanic and Asian-American attorneys have high levels of anxiety at their firms about job security. Just over 20 percent of white associates reported high anxiety.

More minorities than whites said their workloads were too light, and minorities posted fewer billable hours than their white counterparts. This was true in last year’s survey, too, but a greater percentage of associates in all ethnic groups said the recession has affected them this year.

According to the survey, it appears black attorneys are having the most trouble with the current economic situation and its impact at firms. African-Americans reported changing practice areas because of the recession the least, were actively looking for another job more than any other group, and were more likely to view the way work is distributed at their firms as less fair than their colleagues.

Billable hours are down for every group, but as usual, the minorities still had fewer hours. You can read more about the survey here.

Also in the article on the study, some feared the economy is pushing firms backward in their diversity efforts and that any strides made over the last few years will be erased. Instead of putting time and resources into recruiting and retaining minority attorneys, firms are trying to find ways to slash costs and focus on keeping the companies profitable.

Are the sentiments the same at Indiana firms? Are minorities more affected and worried about the economy or are all attorneys feeling the same anxiety?
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  1. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  2. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  3. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

  4. "...not those committed in the heat of an argument." If I ever see a man physically abusing a woman or a child and I'm close enough to intercede I will not ask him why he is abusing her/him. I will give him a split second to cease his attack and put his hands in the air while I call the police. If he continues, I will still call the police but to report, "Man down with a gunshot wound,"instead.

  5. And so the therapeutic state is weaonized. How soon until those with ideologies opposing the elite are disarmed in the name of mental health? If it can start anywhere it can start in the hoosiers' slavishly politically correct capital city.

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