If you’re a biglaw associate, do you stay at your firm and let the partners get rich off your work and credentials? Or leave and take advantage of that market yourself? The latter approach is the one taken by five young African American attorneys and former associates at prominent large law firms who struck out on their own to fill a niche for an African American firm to serve both Fortune 500 companies and black owned businesses in Atlanta. (full story in Lawyers Form New Practice (2/21/05).
Almost a year ago, this article Courting Shell (American Lawyer/law.com 6/24/04) reported on how large corporations are now demanding more diversity of the lawyers who serve them. Thus, corporations are turning to firms with female and minority attorneys – and firms are scrambling to respond by increasing diversity in the ranks. But isn’t this just a little too late? After all, there have always been talented female and minority attorneys – but law firms never wanted them until their clients did. And now that there’s a demand for sophisticated female and minority attorneys, why should they go to large firms at all?