The Benefits of a Multicultural Law Firm
As the world becomes smaller, it's natural that law firms should become more diverse. In places like the Silicon Valley, for example, literally hundreds of ethnic and national backgrounds convene to make it one of the most pioneering regions in the country.
Law firms can be the same way. But even if you're not particularly happy about the multiculturalism movement, basic numbers suggest that multiculturalism is pretty much a force that cannot (and ought not) be stopped. Rather than fight it, embrace the benefits.
- Larger Social Network: Approximately half of the companies started in the Silicon Valley were founded by immigrants (Steve Jobs, for example), and the grand majority of them were non-white. And we all know how active and important Silicon Valley companies can be. A multicultural law firm expands the social reach of the firm to other professionals beyond just a single ethnic group. It's not just PC -- it's good business.
- Fresh Ideas: Old firms run by older attorneys tend to be closed to new ideas or new ways of getting things done. Younger attorneys who have backgrounds in other culture -- or even other countries -- have fresh ideas that the firm can use to branch into other areas of practice, or otherwise handle an issue that the non-minority attorneys may not even consider.
- Morale Boost: Encouraging a multicultural workplace boosts the morale of minority workers because it lets them feel that they are not considered the ethnic "other" in what has traditionally been a single color profession: white. It will also send a message to your clients. Modern clients will look at multiculturalism and see adaptability.
- Strategy and Culture: A multicultural practice tends to foster patience and tolerance. The practice of law is ultimately an excursion into client relations and service. Working with other professionals of will impart the adaptibility mentioned above throughout the workforce. Can't speak Hindi? Well, one of your attorneys can. Working with this attorney will only confer benefits to overall company culture and business adaptability.
It was not too long ago that work forces could not tolerate different peoples of different ethnic backgrounds, but that is thankfully only history -- in somewhat spectacular ways. More shades of color are being seen in law offices. Don't fight it: embrace it.
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