Law360 Quotes Melissa Jones on Efforts to Improve Retention Rates of Underrepresented Attorneys

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Stoel Rives’ managing partner Melissa Jones was quoted in the Law360 article titled “4 Ways Firms are Trying to ‘Move The Needle’ on Diversity,” published December 4, 2020. The article provides updates on concerted efforts that law firms are implementing to increase diversity through the nearly year-old Move the Needle Fund.

Through more inclusive channels of communication, recruiting efforts and workflow allocations, Move the Needle firms are experimenting with methods to assist in the program’s commitment to build and maintain a culture that fosters diversity and inclusion.

For Stoel Rives’ part, Melissa Jones describes the firm’s implementation of “stay interviews” to better understand what, if any, barriers might stand in the way of an underrepresented lawyer’s desire to stay and advance at the firm. The interactions are beneficial because the leaders can take immediate action to help boost the attorney’s career growth and advancement while uncovering possible common trends and issues within a practice group and across the firm. 

Seven practice groups have participated in stay interviews over the summer, meeting with 100 of its underrepresented attorneys. “We’ve found that it has been really helpful for us to get direct feedback from our diverse lawyers in a very deliberate way,” said Jones.

Stoel Rives is a founding member of Diversity Lab’s Move the Needle Fund (MTN). This five-year model program is intended to help five U.S. law firms to reach the diversity and inclusion goals they set for themselves. The program is a collaboration between the five firms and more than two dozen general counsels from some of today’s leading companies, as well as an advisory group of influential leaders in the legal community. Click here to learn more.

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