ALM’s Methodology for the Diversity Scorecard Has Changed for the Better

For a while now, some of the most passionate advocates for greater equity, inclusion and diversity in the legal industry have questioned how firms with no representation of certain minority groups could be receiving the highest scores on ALM’s annual “Diversity Scorecard.”

As anyone who closely watches trends in law firm DEI knows, “progress” is about a lot more than just the demographic numbers. Beyond increasing representation across historically underrepresented groups, firms have a lot of work to do in creating long-term pathways to success for these new hires. A high score should go to firms who are recruiting and retaining this key talent, creating cultures where all attorneys can thrive.

ALM has heard the consistent feedback that their methodology needs to adapt, and in response they have made some thoughtful changes to the Scorecard this year and going forward. As their editorial team said in an article discussing the changes last month, “…we hold ourselves personally responsible for ensuring our combined data and analysis accurately reflect critical components of the profession, while evolving to highlight the changing markers of success.”

Here are the specific changes ALM has made to the Diversity Scorecard scoring process:

  • Each racial/ethnic minority category is now weighted so that a zero in any one category impacts a firm’s score.
  • ALM added questions about the diversity of a firm’s executive committee, office leaders and practice heads.
  • Next year, the Scorecard will include questions related to diversity promotions, lateral hiring and retention.

It’s a start.