Page 113 - FDCC_InsightsSpecialIssue23.2
P. 113

Jody Briandi
Law Practice Management
Advancing Your DEI Plan and Building it into Your Firm Culture
Law Firm Leaders are Critical to Firmwide DEI Success
By: Jody Briandi
In 2023, most law firms have already put DEI initiatives into place. While having DEI as a part of your firm’s values is critical, equally important is law firm leaders making DEI a strategic priority across their firms through ownership, active participation, and providing guidance to their teams. There is often a high level of engagement at the beginning of a rollout or new initiative, such as DEI; however, the challenge is to maintain it and achieve long-term success. This is where leadership’s role is crucial. Ensure all company leaders are part of the plan and understand your company’s goals and vision. Leadership buy-in and backing is essential. And firm leaders are also your best messengers.
  Eliminating bias in the workplace and in the recruitment cycle is a critical first step in advancing DEI efforts across your firm. At a basic level, bias in the workplace leads to employees feeling like they don’t belong, and can also create an undesirable work culture. You cannot achieve inclusivity while tolerating unconscious bias during the hiring process, performance reviews and when decisions are made on advancement–all initiatives that are led by law firm leaders. Some things you can do as a leader include ensuring your firm is examining recruitment channels. Is your firm in the right space that will result in a diverse candidate pool? Create an interview team and train the interviewers. Make sure that the interview process is structured and that your team has planned questions. Is your firm providing the necessary foundation for advancement—especially as more attorneys are working from home? It’s important to provide equal opportunities to all employees through mentorship and leadership training. As a leader, are you holding people accountable? Action items here including issuing surveys to assess the impact of DEI in your organization and leadership’s role. Consider implementing an anonymous reporting system. And once you’ve done all of these things, listen and respond to the data.
 While outcomes are important, which you can measure by collecting data, effort

   111   112   113   114   115