efforts by large law firms for gay attorneys are on the
rise. A robust legal market and declining law-school
enrollment numbers are just part of the reason many
large law firms are now searching out attorneys who
are gay or members of other minority groups.
According to the Law School Admission Council,
4.6% fewer students applied to law schools in 2005
than in the previous year. That drop in enrollment and
pressure from corporate clients to diversify their staffs
has sent large firms scrambling for new talent.
The National Law Journal reports that many
large firms have started outreach and benefits programs to
gay attorneys. A 2005 survey by the Journal
found that among the nation's 20 largest law firms,
only five reported having any gay lawyers at all. The
survey also found that among those five firms, only
1.8% of attorneys were openly gay.
Historically, large law firms have a reputation
for rigidity and a conservative atmosphere, two
elements that advocates say make being out in the
workplace difficult. (Sirius OutQ News)