Joe Patrice floats the idea that BigLaw isn't wholly to blame for its low levels of diversity, citing the exit of lawyers from a diverse background to in-house roles. He rightly points out that BigLaw needs to ask itself why this happens. From my experience here in the UK, I experienced feeling very unwelcome in BigLaw and wondered why they had recruited me if they didn't want the likes of me. If you recruit a state school educated non-Oxbridge female from a not very prosperous background, then accept her for what she is, please, and make her welcome. I guess political correctness would mean that this particular experience wouldn't happen now but I recall a senior associate making partner and he took the male associates out to a strip club as his celebration! That, amongst other things, did rather send a message that BigLaw wasn't for me. I moved in-house shortly after that and found it a more amenable environment.
After all, the law firm has to consider not only what makes a lawyer leap in-house, but what makes a diverse lawyer specifically leap in-house? Are there opportunities in-house that he or she don’t see within Biglaw? Those are important questions to answer because keeping diversity at the top is crucial in building a diverse environment through mentoring relationships, hiring guidance, and simply by serving as role models to demonstrate that diverse lawyers have a future with the firm