In the aftermath of George Floyd's murder, lawyers and their firms pledged support for improving diversity, equity and inclusion. Now, more than 18 months later, it is time for firms to create opportunities for engagement and press for greater progress.

In a Legal Marketing Association article, Alisa Goodwin, Katten's Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, outlined three ways firms can turn calls to action into progress.

"It's great to see that firms are engaged, and now is the time to follow through on their commitments," Alisa said. "To be successful, it's crucial that DEI-related calls to action are embedded into a firm's strategic plan so those efforts are incorporated throughout the firm from business development plans to professional development opportunities."

Notably, Alisa said firms shouldn't wait for the perfect time to pursue DEI goals. "There is value in moving forward with a good idea to get the ball rolling because it presents an opportunity for firm leadership to engage with talent and seek feedback on next steps so that the overarching goal is accomplished," she said.

Alisa also cautioned against putting the onus for change on diverse attorneys and staff. Rather, it's critical for everyone to be encouraged to educate themselves about DEI issues.

Finally, she said, firms need to actively listen and take action to address what they've heard and learned.

"Walking the Talk: Bringing DEI Initiatives to Life," Legal Marketing Association, December 16, 2021