Raising the Bar

Diversifying Big Law

A first-of-its-kind book of honest reflections, straight talk, and essential advice about life at big law firms for people of color

“Know where you take yourself and then act like you belong.” —Theresa Cropper, chief diversity officer, Perkins Coie

What do young people of color aspiring to careers in the law need to know about life at big law firms? What do law schools need to do to prepare them? What do the firms themselves need to do to attract, retain, and promote them?

In Raising the Bar, four partners of color from leading law firms engage in a no-holds-barred conversation about what it takes to make it in big law using their own journeys to the top to discuss how law firms can do a better job of attracting and holding on to a more diverse set of young attorneys.

They also offer advice to the attorneys themselves on how to succeed in a culture that has long excluded them, including finding mentors among those who don’t look like you, building a portable toolkit of skills, establishing key connections outside the firm, and staying “true to you,” even as young associates of color navigate the foreign terrain of insular firm culture.

The book also includes a section of concrete advice from diversity coordinators at several top law firms.

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