International law firm sparks diversity debate

by Steve Randall29 Jan 2019

New York headquartered law firm Paul Weiss has found itself at the centre of a debate about diversity after posting an image of an all-white, most-male cohort of partners.

The image was posted to the firm’s LinkedIn page in December and was quickly derided for its lack of diversity. As well as all-white, the 12 new partners included just one woman.

However, the firm says that its record on diversity is strong and that the latest additions to the partnership are an anomaly.

The New York Times reports that Paul Weiss is more diverse at partner level than many of its peers and ALM Intelligence data shows women make up 23% of partners compared to 18% at many of its US Top 200 peers.

More lawyers are reaching out for help with mental health
A charity that provides mental health help and support to lawyers says its helpline has seen a surge in calls in the past year.

UK-based LawCare says the helpline received a record number of calls overall in 2018 (932) and those about bullying and harassment doubled (68).

Stress was the most common reason for a call (26%) followed by depression (19%) and Anxiety (11%).

Almost two thirds of callers were women while nearly half were trainees or had been qualified less than 5 years.

“Whilst we are pleased more lawyers are reaching out to us for support, we remain increasingly concerned about the long hours and heavy workload culture in the law which significantly affects wellbeing,” said

Elizabeth Rimmer, CEO of LawCare. “We are particularly concerned about the number of callers citing bullying and harassment in the workplace, it is absolutely essential that legal practice organisations take steps to stamp this out and take the wellbeing and treatment of staff seriously.”

Expansion for Luminance with major US client
Artificial intelligence solution provider Luminance has added a major client to its growing list of law firms.

US firm Pepper Hamilton has adopted the Luminance solution for M&A due diligence reviews, adding to its 130+ customers including 14 of the world’s top law firms and three of the ‘Big Four’ accountancy firms.

The push for US coverage has seen a new office opening for Luminance, adding a New York location to complement those in Singapore, London, Cambridge, and Chicago.

“Our team is better-equipped than ever to meet the rising demand for legal technology solutions in the US. This year, a focus for Luminance will be continuing to support our growing US customer base; New York in particular is a hub for innovation and a city that is home to several leading customer firms, so an office there seemed a logical next step as our global presence expands,” commented Luminance CEO Emily Foges.