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Executive Summary of the Manual

Beyond Diversity: Inclusiveness in the Legal Workplace

View the executive summary of our robust toolkit for retaining female and diverse attorneys below and a description of all contents lower on this page.

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  • Learn why inclusiveness is the key to the diversity dilemma in the legal profession
  • Understand the difference between diversity and inclusiveness and why traditional diversity efforts in the legal profession have failed
  • Assess the level of inclusiveness of your organization and what steps are needed to make further progress
  • Learn about the current state of diversity in the legal profession and how the diversity crisis will continue to get worse
  • Find out about other sectors and industries that have embraced the new paradigm of inclusiveness


Step 1: Laying the Internal Foundation

  • Step up your diversity efforts with an inclusiveness initiative
  • Help leaders change the status quo
  • Learn practical ways to engage white men
  • Discover the strategic considerations in forming an inclusiveness committee as opposed to a traditional diversity committee
  • Identify ways to avoid apathy and inertia, which can kill any initiative before it begin

Step 2: Creating an External Support System

  • Find external partners who can provide compelling accountability
  • Expand your resources and knowledge with consultants and trainers
  • Strengthen ties to outside organizations


Step 3: Integrating Inclusiveness Within Your Organization

  • Know why diversity and inclusiveness are important
  • Examine your organizational culture
  • Learn why attrition rates for diverse attorneys higher
  • Identify ways hidden barriers operate to marginalize diverse attorneys
  • Create methods to remove those hidden barriers
  • Understand what training will work
  • Start diversity dialogues
  • Combat diversity fatigue

Step 4: Integrating Inclusiveness into External Relationships

  • Learn how your organization should present itself with respect to diversity and inclusiveness on the web and with clients
  • Integrate inclusiveness into your organization’s marketing, recruiting, hiring, and community involvement

Step 5: Implementation

  • Learn how to create an effective inclusiveness action plan for your organization
  • Implement accountability measures that will sustain the initiative
  • Measure the success of the goals you set
  • Evaluate progress against the AIM for Excellence benchmarks

Step 6: Collective Effort and Success: The Inclusiveness Network

  • Shorten your learning curve by following the examples of legal organizations engaged in inclusiveness initiatives (preview case studies here)
  • Join with others engaged in this work to share experiences – challenges as well as successes

Inclusive Excellence in Law Schools

Law schools are workplaces that can become more inclusive. Inclusiveness should be embedded in curriculum, admissions, alumni relations, clinical programs, faculty, career development, and student programming to advance learning.


  • Exercises for hands-on analysis and learning
  • Comprehensive composite lists of best practices
  • New model for inclusive excellence in recruiting
  • Sample surveys
  • Sample inclusiveness action plans
  • Comprehensive list of resources