The Minority Law Journal Releases Its 2006 Diversity Scorecard

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The Minority Law Journal has released its 2006 Diversity Scorecard. After polling 255 top U.S. law firms, the journal tallied up the number of partners, associates, special counsels, of counsels, and other staff attorneys of color. Taking the number one spot is Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, where minorities make up 23% of all attorneys. Morrison & Foerster comes in seconds with nearly the same amount of minority attorneys. Both firms have around 10% minority partners. The firm with the most ethnically diverse partnership is Wilson Sonsini, with over 17% minority partners. Last year's top spot went to Miami's Steel Hector & Davis. That firm merged with another, however, allowing Paul Weiss to make great strides toward diversity and snag the leading position on the chart. A total of six firms were able to increase their diversity score by over five points this year. Monica Bay over at the Common Scold blog says that this is hardly surprising. As more and more corporate clients begin to demand increased ethnic diversity among their counsel, law firms have little choice but to comply. See the complete Diversity Scorecard here.

Another recent study tracked the number of women working for the U.S. Supreme Court. At last count, Ruth "Egg Beater" Bader Ginsburg was the only woman on the bench (unless you count Souter). The bloggers over at Feminist Law Professors calculated that over the past few years, the number of female Supreme Court law clerks has dwindled from a handful to a thimbleful. In the 2004-2005 term, 15 of 35 clerks were female. During the past term, the number had dropped to 13 out of 37. Reports for the next term reveal that the number will drop again, to only 7 out of 35. Prettier Than Napoleon (formerly Class Maledictorian) took to analyzing this data on her law blog. She points out that while women constitute a majority of law students in America, they are still a minority in the highest-rated law schools. She figures that women are also slightly less likely to be selected for law review, as well as less likely to take circuit court clerkships. She's not totally sure if this is an institutional inequality issue or not, but the disparity is clear.

After shooting a Reno, Nevada, family court judge, Darren Mack went on the lam. Authorities suspected he had fled to Latin America. One place he was not expected to show up was on a popular law blog. Police contacted the blogger behind The Legal Reader to request data about someone who posted on the blog. The cops suspected that someone was fugitive Darren Mack. Comments on The Legal Reader, claiming to be from someone who knew Mack intimately, disclosed financial information and details of Mack's motives in the shooting. The police were able to track the IP address to Mexico, where Mack was apprehended. After The Legal Reader revealed the facts about their cooperation with the police in capturing Mack, other law bloggers came forward saying they had also received comments from that particular IP address which dealt with Darren Mack and the shooting of the Reno judge. Pretty creepy.

David Lat, the blogger who gained fame as the Article III Groupie from Underneath Their Robes is returning to the bright lights of the law blog universe after a brief respite. For the past several months, Lat has been writing as part of the popular political blog Wonkette. He announced this week that he will be leaving Wonkette and returning to law blogging full time with fellow blogger Elizabeth Spiers. Lat claims the new blog will focus on legal gossip.

Judge Donald M. Thompson, better known as the Oklahoma penis-pump judge, was found guilty last week of indecent exposure and using a penis pump while presiding over trials. He was also accused of peeing in a trash can. That's the part that really makes me wonder. Anyway, the salacious aspects of the case have prompted a lot of media attention, as well as some seriously stupid dirty puns (stiff sentences, hung jury, etc). Robert J. Ambrogi of Inside Legal Opinions expressed sympathy for the clearly troubled judge, whom he characterizes as having mental problems. The judge protested his innocence until the bitter end, but the evidence was stacked against him. There were witnesses, and the CSI folks found DNA on his robe. His female law clerk, who accused him of exposing himself, said she was traumatized for life by the incident. But it's all over now. Let's just move on. To add insult to injury, we won't even get a Rush Limbaugh/Viagra case to gawk at on CourtTV.

Next week, we will return with more exciting and informative (well, at least informative) news and reviews from the law blogosphere. Until then, keep your ears waxy.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

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