October 2016

How Legal Leaders on the Rise Protect Their Firm’s Most Valuable Asset: People

By Melanie Klinghoffer, JD, LLM

Powerful Transformations

Legal leaders on the rise recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion in today’s workplace, and how both are vital to the performance of the individual, leaders and the organization.

Traditionally, the most common understanding of diversity was limited to gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation.  The meaning has since evolved to include differences in education, economic status, generational, and other background distinctions. Inclusion now accompanies diversity as an organizational resource that values all individuals despite differences, as well as recognizes the abundance of knowledge, skills and abilities brought by each.

Today’s purpose-driven legal leaders strategically focus on diversity and inclusion by intentionally meeting the intrinsic human needs of their people including respect, emotional safety, trust and support. This type of culture engages all members of the organization to share opinions, creatively collaborate, perform more meaningful work, build deeper workplace relationships, embrace teamwork and contribute to a vision they believe in.

The results of a diverse, inclusive workplace are limitless and include higher levels of production, performance and positivity. Employees want to come to work because they are energized, enthusiastic and engaged. Turnover goes down, attraction and retention of top talent rises, revenue skyrockets, and profitability is sustainable. In addition, the firm’s reputation is one of goodwill, fairness and loyalty. Its brand is protected, legal exposure mitigated, and financial stability bolstered.

Leaders that embrace diversity and inclusion are held in high esteem internally by their firm stakeholders and externally in the community. Organizations such as the San Diego County Bar Association celebrate members that embody these values and recognize diversity and inclusion as traits of a successful leader.

Diversity and inclusion are empowerment tools. Legal leaders on the rise hold the power to create workplaces that thrive when these tools are implemented effectively. The secret is to commit to protecting the firm’s most valuable asset: people. 


Read more about diversity and inclusion in our legal community, and the SDCBA's diversity efforts in the September/October 2016 issue of San Diego Lawyer

Join us at our Dialogue on Diversity on November 1. Details here.