The Snail Pace of Increasing Diversity in the Legal Profession

laura martinez

Laura Martinez



As my sons start yet another baseball season, I can’t believe it’s already July. Time flies. Although time flies, some things aren’t changing quickly enough.

One thing that hasn’t changed quickly enough is the lack of diversity in the legal profession. Although approximately 50% of law school students are women, only 35% of practicing lawyers are women. Further, only 24% of law firm partners are women. The fact that women are leaving the practice of law and not achieving many partnership positions is concerning to me. Women have only started to bridge the wide gap in obtaining partnerships as compared to their male counterparts. While this gap is narrowing there is much work to be done. Without question, there are some legitimate and understandable reasons why some women have left the practice of law or failed to achieve the professional successes that they envisioned when starting out, but in other instances they have been hindered by a glass ceiling that has only just started to crack.

The numbers are even more concerning when evaluating racial and ethnic diversity in the legal field, where only 5% of active attorneys identified as Black/African American or as Hispanic/Latino in 2017. This is a trend that cannot continue if we are to ensure all Americans are effectively represented in the legal profession. That means we need to do more to encourage and support students of color so that they attend and graduate from law school and obtain employment in the myriad of legal careers that exist in the United States.

From a practical perspective clients and juries come from a diverse background and your ability to generate business or find success in a courtroom can be greatly enhanced by having diversity in your conference room, board room, or court room.

Here at FGMC we value diversity in all forms and are committed to helping diverse and economically disenfranchised groups within our community. To that end, FGMC supports diverse pursuits such as the Annual Women’s Leadership Breakfast, Denver Kids Annual Breakfast Club, the Emily Griffith Foundation, Shalom Park, the Asian Chamber of Commerce, and One Colorado, just to name a few. We continue to strive to make our firm a welcoming and modern force in the Denver legal community. I am proud to be a partner here.

Happy Fourth of July and Cheers to the melting pot that is America!

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