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Can Implicit Bias Trainings Improve Diversity in the Legal Profession?


In the wake of the most recent Black Lives Matter protests nationwide, the legal profession is facing a reckoning with the much bemoaned lack of diversity in its ranks – especially as reflected in the highest levels of law firms and in the judiciary. This lack of diversity is not only bad for individual attorneys and the legal profession, but it has also been linked to worse legal outcomes for people of color.

A group of nearly 200 law firms (so far) have joined the new Law Firm Anti-Racism Alliance, which is partnering with longstanding pro bono and racial justice  organizations to create a strategy for using the law to address racial injustice in the country. And to address the underlying lack of diversity within the profession, many states have passed or are considering new Continuing Legal Education credit types designed to help attorneys eliminate bias and improve inclusion efforts.

Can this type of training help attorneys address their implicit biases? To answer that question, we have to understand what these biases are, and the strategies available to confront them. In her CLE program When Bad Biases Happen to Good People, attorney Mirna Martinez Santiago discusses four types of implicit bias, how they show up in law firm culture, and how attorneys can address them to help cultivate a more diverse and inclusive environment.

Overcoming implicit bias in the legal profession is a long game. But as more diverse attorneys join the profession, it is crucial that they enter workplaces with colleagues who have been trained to recognize and confront implicit biases when they inevitably arise.

To learn more, check out the full program, or our full catalog of Elimination of Bias CLE, which you can watch via our free trial.

This article was prepared with help from Elsie Tan, a New York Law School student. 

This content was originally published here.

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