The New York County Lawyers' Association's (NYCLA) Board of Directors has approved a report, Making Progress: How New York's Top 24 Law Firms Address Issues of Concern to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Community.
The report, based on results of a survey conducted by NYCLA's LGBT Issues Committee, found that New York's largest law firms are making substantial progress on issues of critical importance to the LGBT community, which includes recruitment and health benefits (to same-sex domestic partners), policies, pro bono representation of LGBT clients, and financial support and participation in LGBT organizations, community events and law conferences. The report also contains a series of recommendations to ensure that firms actively recruit LGBT attorneys, in addition to promoting and elevating them to leadership positions.
The survey, conducted in the summer of 2003, represents the first time that New York law firms have been asked to respond publicly to questions about their practices and policies on LGBT issues. All 24 firms surveyed have self-identified LGBT attorneys and most have self-identified LGBT partners; in addition, all of the firms take steps to ensure that LGBT candidates for employment have the opportunity to meet with self-identified LGBT attorneys employed at the firm.
According to the report's conclusion and recommendations, "It is undeniable that New York's top law firms have embraced the LGBT community when they define diversity and have made great strides in ensuring that LGBT attorneys are welcome, valued and treated equallyÉ.Nevertheless, there is always room for improvement."
To read the complete report, log on to www.nycla.org and click on Publications and on NYCLA Reports.