In D&I in the News, News

Summer Associate Diversity Tops Other Groups at Firms | Chicago Lawyer

Summer associates in Chicago are a more diverse group than the lawyers who hired them. A Chicago Lawyer survey found a larger percentage of minorities working as summer associates than the percentage of minorities working as full-time law firm associates. And, overall law firm diversity numbers in 2002 remained similar to last year, according to the 2002 Chicago Lawyer Diversity Survey.

“Over the last 10 years the law school demographics have changed dramatically, but the law firm diversity numbers have stayed stagnant,” said Karen K. Harris, a Piper Rudnick senior associate named in June as the firm’s first full-time director of diversity.

Harris will spearhead a five-year diversity initiative to increase the firm’s number of minority attorneys through enhanced recruiting and retention efforts. Piper Rudnick is the first firm in Chicago to devote a lawyer full-time to diversity issues, according to the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms.

“Many firms have diversity committees populated by practicing attorneys whose primary job is lawyering, and diversity issues are
their second, third or fourth responsibility. It’s a huge commitment by the firm to have it be somebody’s full time responsibility,” Harris said.

She will report to the firm’s newly-formed 11-member diversity committee, co-chaired by Larry D. Harris of Washington (no relation to Karen) and Theodore I. Yi, the firm’s outgoing hiring partner.

Harris declined to specify the “minor” pay cut she incurred to end her health care practice and spend all her time working on firm diversity issues.

Salaries for Piper Rudnick associates range from $ 130,000 to $ 195,000 with bonuses between $ 3,000 and $ 37,000, according to the 2002 Chicago Lawyer Survey of the Largest Law Firms in Illinois.

Summer associates

The Chicago Lawyer Summer Associate Survey counted 945 summer associates in 2001, of whom 766, or 82.1 percent, were white; and 169, or 17.9 percent, were minorities.

This compared to 3,209 white associates, 88.4 percent, and 421 minority associates, 11.6 percent, according to counts in the 2002 Chicago Lawyer Diversity Survey.

In the 2001 Diversity Survey, 3,231, or 89.8 percent, were white associates; and 366, or 10.2 percent, were minority associates.

Asian American summer associates led the way among minority groups with 72, 7.6 percent, in 2001. African-Americans followed with 55, or 5.8 percent; and Hispanics had 34, or 3.6 percent.

Asian Americans also led the way among all minority associates at law firms with 204, or 5.6 percent of all minority associates; African-Americans had 144, or 4.0 percent; and Hispanics had 60, or 1.7 percent, according to the 2002 Diversity Survey.

The 2001 Diversity Survey found 154, 4.3 percent, Asian American associates; 132, 3.7 percent, African-American; and 61, 1.7 percent, Hispanic.

Chicago Lawyer sent the Summer Associate survey to 154 law firms with 20 or more attorneys in Illinois. Some 74 firms provided information about the diversity of summer associates in 2001, the most current year with final statistics. Information regarding the diversity of 2002 summer associates was incomplete at the time of the survey.

All information was provided by the firms.

A Consultant

The Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms has retained a diversity consultant to conduct a research project among minority summer associates in Chicago law firms to “see if there is a difference between expectations of minority summer associates that enter into law firms and the reality they see when they leave after the summer,” said Dr. Arin N. Reeves, the Committee’s consultant.

Reeves is a principal consultant with The Athens Group, a gender and diversity consulting firm in Chicago. She is a lawyer who practiced briefly before earning a doctorate in sociology from Northwestern University.

“We think it would be beneficial if law firms recognize what is important for minority summer associates,” said Adrienne B. Pitts, the Committee’s chairperson and senior associate with
Winston & Strawn.

Reeves collected 60 questionnaires from minority summer associates attending a Chicago Committee luncheon in June at Jenner & Block, and she plans to conduct interviews with summer associates and distribute a follow-up questionnaire at the end of the summer.

“The research questionnaire’s initial questions are really looking at what are minority summer associate’s factors about the decision-making process for their careers,” Reeves said. “I may get a majority of answers that say, ‘I don’t want to be a partner.’

“Some of the other questions are seeing how they rank various factors among the law firms. Does diversity matter for the summer associates? We may find that minority summer associates don’t care about diversity, and salary and mentoring might be the big issues.”

Diversity Survey Results

Chicago Lawyer sent the 2002 Diversity Survey to 154 law firms with 20 or more attorneys. All information was provided by the firms.

Some 59 firms, including 8,243 attorneys, responded to the 2002 Diversity Survey. The 2001 survey included 59 firms and 8,009 lawyers.

The 2002 survey counted 5,851 males (71 percent); 2,392 females (29 percent); 3,630 associates (44 percent of all attorneys); and 3,965 partners (48.1 percent of all attorneys).

Of the partners, the survey included 2,912 capital partners (35.3 percent of all attorneys) and 1,053 income partners (12.8 percent of all attorneys).

White lawyers accounted for 7,650, or 93.1 percent of all attorneys in the 2002 survey. The 2001 survey counted 7,488 white lawyers (93.6 percent).

Among minority groups, Asian Americans led the 2002 survey with 252 attorneys (3.1 percent of all attorneys). The 2001 survey tallied 200 Asian American attorneys (2.5 percent of the total).

African-Americans followed with 205 (2.5 percent) in 2002, up from 189 (2.4 percent) in 2001.

Hispanics had 99 lawyers (1.2 percent) in the 2002 survey compared to 101 (1.3 percent) in 2001.

Of the 37 member firms of the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms, four did not provide information for the 2002 Chicago Lawyer Diversity Survey: Barnes & Thornburg; Freeborn & Peters; Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue; and Sachnoff & Weaver.

No Minority Associates

The following 30 firms listed no minorities among their summer associates in 2001:

Ancel, Glink, Diamond, Bush, DiCianni & Rolek; Barnes & Thornburg; Bartlit, Beck, Herman, Palenchar & Scott; Brown, Hay & Stephens; Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella; Cremer, Kopon, Shaughnessy & Spina; D’Ancona & Pflaum; Donohue, Brown, Mathewson & Smyth; Fitch, Even, Tabin & Flannery; Franczek Sullivan.

Freeborn & Peters; Goldberg, Weisman & Cairo; Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen; Johnson & Bell; Kalcheim, Schatz & Berger; Klein, Thorpe and Jenkins; Kovitz, Shifrin, Nesbit; Laner, Muchin, Dombrow, Becker, Levin and Tominberg; Levenfeld, Pearlstein; McDonnell, Boehnen, Hulbert & Berghoff.

Michael, Best & Friedrich; Much, Shelist, Freed, Denenberg, Ament & Rubenstein; Schiller, DuCanto and Fleck; Schopf & Weiss; Schuyler, Roche & Zwirner; Schwartz, Cooper, Greenberger & Krauss; Shefsky & Froelich; Sorling, Northrup, Hanna, Cullen & Cochran; Tressler, Soderstrom, Maloney & Priess; and Williams & McCarthy.

No Minority Lawyers

Of the firms in the 2002 Chicago Lawyer Diversity Survey, three firms listed no minority lawyers: Gould & Ratner; Williams & McCarthy of Rockford; and Momkus, Ozog & McCluskey of Downers Grove.

No Minority Partners

Some 16 firms listed no minority partners: Bell, Boyd & Lloyd; Latham & Watkins; Michael, Best & Friedrich; Meckler, Bulger & Tilson; Levenfeld, Pearlstein; Peterson & Ross; Welsh & Katz; Swanson, Martin & Bell; Gould & Ratner; Quarles & Brady; Franczek Sullivan; Segal, McCambridge, Singer & Maloney; Banner & Witcoff; Lovells; Williams & McCarthy of Rockford; and Momkus, Ozog & McCluskey of Downers Grove.


Two firms in the Diversity Survey are at least partially minorityowned and have minorities among the name partners.

The 44-lawyer Masuda, Funai, Eifert & Mitchell had 27.3 percent minorities; 35-lawyer Sanchez & Daniels had 34.3 percent minorities.

Among other surveyed firms, 30-lawyer Robbins, Schwartz, Nicholas, Lifton & Taylor tallied the highest percentage of
minorities: 13.3 percent.

Excluding the two minority-owned firms, here are some survey highpoints:

– Highest number of minorities: Sidley, Austin, Brown & Wood, the third largest firm in Illinois with 453 lawyers. Sidley listed 42 minority attorneys among its Illinois ranks.

– Most women lawyers: Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw, Illinois’ largest firm, had 153.

– Highest percentage of women lawyers: Franczek Sullivan, 40.5 percent.

– Highest number of women partners: McDermott, Will & Emery, 49.

– Highest percentage of women partners: Lovells, 40 percent.

– Highest number of female associates: Sidley, Austin, Brown & Wood, 109.

– Highest percentage of female associates: Franczek Sullivan, 63.2 percent.

More Findings

Following are more findings from the 2002 Diversity Survey and the Summer Associate Survey, excluding the two minority-owned firms.

– Highest percentage of minorities: Summer associates: Querrey & Harrow, 100 percent (two of two); McBride, Baker & Coles, 66.7 percent (two of three); Marshall, Gerstein & Borun, 50 percent (four of eight); Hinshaw & Culbertson, 50 percent (two of four); Meckler, Bulger & Tilson, 50 percent (one of two).

All attorneys: Robbins, Schwartz, Nicholas, Lifton &Taylor, 13.3 percent.

Partners: Goldberg, Kohn, Bell, Black, Rosenbloom & Moritz, 11.4 percent.

Associates: Marshall, Gerstein & Borun, 28.1 percent.

– Highest number of minorities: Summer associates: Kirkland & Ellis, 17; Jenner & Block, 15; Mayer, Brown & Maw, 12; Sidley, Austin, Brown & Wood, 11.

All attorneys: Sidley, Austin, Brown & Wood, 42.

Partners: Winston & Strawn, nine.

Associates: Sidley, Austin, Brown & Wood, 32.

– Highest percentage of African-Americans

Summer associates: Querrey & Harrow, 50 percent (one African-American female of two summer associates); Hinshaw & Culbertson, 50 percent (two African-American males of four summer associates); Ungaretti & Harris, 25 percent (one African-American male of four summer associates).

All attorneys: Robbins, Schwartz, Nicholas, Lifton &Taylor, 10 percent.

Partners: Robbins, Schwartz, Nicholas, Lifton &Taylor, 9.1 percent.

Associates: Lovells, 15.4 percent.

– Highest number of African-Americans:

Summer associates: Foley & Lardner, five; Winston & Strawn, five; Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw, five; Sidley, Austin, Brown & Wood, five; Lord, Bissell & Brook, four; Kirkland & Ellis, four. All attorneys: Winston & Strawn, 18. Partners: Winston & Strawn, five. Associates: Sidley, Austin, Brown & Wood and Winston & Strawn, 12 each. – Highest percentage of Hispanics: Summer associates: Gould & Ratner, 33.3 percent (one Hispanic male of three summer associates); Baker & McKenzie, 18.8 percent (one Hispanic male, two Hispanic females of 16 summer associates).

All attorneys: Bartlit, Beck, Herman, Palenchar & Scott, 3.6 percent.

Partners: Bartlit, Beck, Herman, Palenchar & Scott, 5.3 percent.

Associates: Bell, Boyd & Lloyd, 7.3 percent.

– Highest number of Hispanics:

Summer associates: Jenner & Block, four; Baker & McKenzie, three; Lord, Bissell & Brook, three; Kirkland & Ellis, three.

All attorneys: Baker & McKenzie; Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw; Piper, Rudnick; seven each.

Partners: Baker & McKenzie; Winston & Strawn; three each.

Associates: Gardner, Carton & Douglas; Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw; Piper, Rudnick; five each.

– Highest percentage of Asian Americans:

Summer associates: McBride, Baker & Coles, 66.7 percent (two Asian American males of three summer associates); Masuda, Funai, Eifert & Mitchell, 66.7 percent (one Asian American
male, one Asian American female of three summer associates); Meckler, Bulger & Tilson, 50 percent (one Asian American female of two summer associates).

All attorneys: Marshall, Gerstein & Borun, 11 percent.

Partners: Goldberg, Kohn, Bell, Black, Rosenbloom & Moritz, 8.6 percent. Associates: Marshall, Gerstein & Borun 21.9 percent.

– Highest number of Asian Americans:

Summer associates: Kirkland & Ellis, 10; Jenner & Block, 10; Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw, five; Sidley, Austin, Brown & Wood, five.

All attorneys: Sidley, Austin, Brown & Wood, 20.

Partners: Baker & McKenzie and Sidley, Austin, Brown & Wood, four each.

Associates: Kirkland & Ellis; Sidley, Austin, Brown & Wood; Winston & Strawn; 15 each.

Copyright (c) 2002 Chicago Lawyer

Think Smarter. Lead Better.

  • Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.

    Stephen R. Covey
  • The biggest mistake is believing there is one right way to listen, to talk, to have a conversation -- or a relationship.

    Deborah Tannen
  • Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.

    Stephen R. Covey
  • Wide differences of opinion in matters of religious, political, and social belief must exist if conscience and intellect alike are not to be stunted, if there is to be room for healthy growth.

    Theodore Roosevelt
  • Diversity: the art of thinking independently together.

    Malcolm Forbes
  • Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilisation.

    Mahatma Gandhi
  • The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.

    F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Diversity and independence are important because the best collective decisions are the product of disagreement and contest, not consensus or compromise.

    James Surowiecki
  • It is not that I'm so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.

    Albert Einstein
  • Wit lies in recognizing the resemblance among things which differ and the difference between things which are alike.

    Madame De Stael
  • When we lose the right to be different, we lose the privilege to be free.

    Charles Evan Hughes
  • America has believed that in differentiation, not in uniformity, lies the path of progress. It acted on this belief; it has advanced human happiness, and it has prospered.

    Louis D. Brandeis
  • In our work and in our living, we must recognize that difference is a reason for celebration and growth, rather than a reason for destruction.

    Audre Lorde
  • Honest difference of views and honest debate are not disunity. They are the vital process of policy among free men.

    Herbert Hoover
  • Difference of opinion is helpful in religion.

    Thomas Jefferson
  • The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.

    Albert Einstein
  • Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs.

    Leo Tolstoy
  • Differences challenge assumptions.

    Anne Wilson Schaef
  • Peace is not unity in similarity but unity in diversity, in the comparison and conciliation of differences.

    Mikhail Gorbachev
  • To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.

    Tony Robbins
  • One must even beware of too much certainty that the answer to life's problems can only be found in one way and that all must agree to search for light in the same way and cannot find it in any other way.

    Eleanor Roosevelt
  • I not only use all the brains that I have, but all I can borrow.

    Woodrow Wilson
  • Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in.

    Isaac Asimov
  • Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

    Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • There never were in the world two opinions alike, no more than two hairs or two grains; the most universal quality is diversity.

    Michel de Montaigne
  • Diversity creates dimension in the world.

    Elizabeth Ann Lawless
  • Where all think alike, no one thinks very much.

    Walter Lippmann
  • Controversial' as we all know, is often a euphemism for 'interesting and intelligent.

    Kevin Smith
  • Honest difference of views and honest debate are not disunity.They are the vital process of policy among free men.

    Herbert Hoover