The Cultural Perspective. Firms that are made up of a lot of people who are a candidate’s same race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation are often far better able to attract other attorneys who share similar characteristics. It is important for every firm to emphasize its diversity in interviews to make sure candidates will feel welcome, regardless of who they are. Attorneys want to feel welcome wherever they go. Firms that can truthfully state “We’re a meritocracy” are firms that are likely to have the most success in recruiting different types of people. These firms are also the best places for attorneys to work, regardless of their backgrounds. It is extremely important that firms show their candidates that they will be welcome, whatever diversity the candidate represents. The best and brightest candidates are generally attracted to firms that do this well. In many respects, this is not surprising, as this country is a meritocracy.
OBSERVATION: Firms that are true meritocracies typically are able to attract attorneys of all sorts of different backgrounds. The perception of a good portion of the people in the United States is that law firms have traditionally been white-male bastions. To some extent, that may be true; however, firms that wish to draw the best and brightest certainly need to find ways to attract star talent by showing people who do not fulfill the traditional stereotypes that there is room for them. In some respects, it seems ridiculous that we are discussing this in this day and age because there does appear to be a tremendous amount of diversity in a great many law firms today. However, to the extent a variety of groups of people can be welcomed into your firm, all the better.