The Portland Business Journal has now ranked the region’s law firms by the diversity on their professionals for six years based on our annual survey for The List of law firms. We’ve refined the methodology again this year to improve the ranking.
Beyond just ranking firms by percentages of women, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous & People of Color) and LGBTQIA+ lawyers and partners, we indexed them against the percentage of female (50.6%) and non-Hispanic/Latino and non-white (28.1%) residents in the four-county metro-area population from the Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey estimates, along with the percentage of LGBT adults 18 years and older (5.6%) estimated by Gallup for Oregon in 2015-2017.
In addition, we gave double weight to the index of BIPOC attorneys and partners and extra points to firms majority-owned by women, BIPOC owners or those identifying as LGBTQIA+.
Many top firms from last year fared well with the new methodology. Seven out the top 10 in 2021 are also in this year’s top 10. Six of those seven firms are headquartered in Portland.
Sixteen of the 25 firms in the slideshow above are headquartered in Portland, four in Seattle, two in Los Angeles, one in Lake Oswego and one global firm with no designated headquarters.
Just two large firms with 20 or more metro-area attorneys were not majority owned by white men. Reinisch Wilson Weier is majority women-owned and SBH Legal is majority BIPOC-owned.
Over the past five years, firms’ progress on diversity has been incremental at best. At all 76 firms responding to the survey in 2022, just 37.2% of local attorneys and 31% of partners were women, versus 33.5% and 27.7%, respectively, in 2018.
In case you missed it, we showcased the top 26 most diverse “small” law firms in the Portland area on Monday.
Five years ago, 7.4% of local attorneys and 5.9% of partners were non-white. In 2022, those figures only improved to 7.2% and 6.8%. Local LGBTQIA+ attorneys edged up from 2% in 2019 to 3.7% this year, while LGBTQIA+ partners were at 1.9% versus 1.5% last year.
The Business Journal covered area firms’ efforts to bolster their diversity in a cover story last year.
Read the full article in the Portland Business Journal here.
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