The Sacramento Legal Employers Diversity Collective, in coordination with the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law, is a long-term, collaborative effort with local elementary, middle and high schools, community colleges and colleges. The legal employers are committed to addressing the need for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession and building more inclusive pathways to law school. The Collective is a group of 37 of the largest legal employers in Sacramento, with a mix of local, national, and international law firms; state agencies; and public defender and district attorney offices.
Members of the Sacramento Legal Employers Diversity Collective are engaging in a four-pronged approach to remedying the lack of diversity across the continuum of legal employment. The Collective prongs are:
- Pathways Program — There cannot be a more diverse legal workforce if people from historically underrepresented communities do not think they can pursue a career in the legal profession. McGeorge’s Pathways Program brings middle and high school students to McGeorge’s campus and sends attorneys to middle and high schools to talk about the legal profession careers in law. The Collective is working to expand the number of schools and students that this program reaches.
- Mentoring — Many legal employers have mentoring programs for new attorneys within their organizations. The Collective will work with employers and affinity bar groups to help pair diverse attorneys with mentors at a different employer and, ideally, from similar backgrounds.
- Recruitment and Retention — Attorneys from diverse backgrounds historically have higher attrition rates in legal careers than white attorneys. The Collective is working to break down silos between employers and give them a constructive space to share information on what is and is not working when it comes to recruiting and retaining a diverse legal workforce. Once the Collective has developed best practices, it will conduct trainings and hold events to help employers implement the best practices.
- DEI Skills Identification — The Collective will survey employers for the diversity, equity, and inclusion skills they want to see in new hires. Using that data, McGeorge will retool its curriculum to ensure students graduate with those skills.