Supporting Diversity in the Profession: A Way Forward

WLF UPDATE — by Puneet Klar

April 2021

This last year has fostered a global movement toward demanding a more equal, inclusive, and diverse world. In response, the legal community has increased initiatives to attempt to tackle the issue of equality and diversity in the legal profession.

We had the pleasure of speaking with Zara Suleman, who is a past recipient of the CBABC Equality and Diversity Award and who has done extensive work in this area. In our conversation it became clear that as a legal community, we need to do more critical work, both as a profession and as individuals.

What we require, as Zara put it, is to take action and make conscious efforts to reckon the power structures of law firms, boards, legal associations, committees, and the justice system overall. This means moving beyond diversity training and workplace hiring quotas, and toward engaging in open critical dialogue about the real issues and impacts of systemic racism and intersectional oppressions. That dialogue starts with taking a hard look at those who have the power to influence and change the legal profession, and ensuring that we as a legal community hold ourselves accountable.