To make significant strides in hiring diverse lawyers, we needed to create a deeper pipeline of candidates across our practices and offices.
Two years ago, Miles & Stockbridge instituted our own version of the NFL’s “Rooney Rule,” which calls for us to interview at least one woman, minority or LGBT lawyer for each open position. This new policy has resulted in a significant increase in the number of diverse candidates identified, interviewed and hired.
In addition, we maintain an active list of all diverse lawyers we have interviewed. When a position opens up, we already have a sense of where a candidate’s experience and practice align with ours.
This new policy ensures that we are creating more opportunities for diverse lawyers to interview with our firm. It also has resulted in a significant increase in the number of diverse candidates hired. Since adopting this policy in 2015, Miles & Stockbridge has hired a total of 50 lawyers and patent agents, 21 of whom are diverse (racial and ethnic minorities and members of LGBT community) and 26 of whom are women (as of March 2017.) We also have a deep pipeline of outstanding candidates to contact when a position opens up.
We work on a daily basis to elevate our diversity and inclusion efforts from initiatives to a way of life. It requires us to look at all decisions through the prism of diversity and inclusion. It is important for leaders to model a learning mindset because the most impactful growth comes when organizations learn together.