The mission of the Boston Lawyers Group (BLG) is to support the efforts of its member organizations to identify, recruit, advance, and retain attorneys of color. Innovation and collaboration are the key elements of BLG's foundation. BLG members are ultimately responsible for turning their organizations' objectives into action. Each member gathers information through the consortium and takes steps independently to achieve the goal of greater diversity in its organization.
More than 25 years ago the Boston Law Firm Group was founded by two Mintz Levin attorneys. Their vision was actualized when several African American attorneys joined with them to begin a journey to advance diversity in Boston’s legal community. They quickly discovered that there was a need for a collaborative endeavor with likeminded legal leaders who would be important contributors to a sustained effort. As the organization evolved from its 13 member beginnings and secured its more inclusive name “The Boston Lawyers Group”, it became today’s vibrant membership of more than 40 plus premier, law firms, corporate law offices and government agencies. There were many milestones along the way. Together the members attacked the disparities that were impeding full inclusion of attorneys of color in Boston’s legal organizations. Our vision became stronger and more resonant as we became a more inclusive organization.
The lessons we learn everyday continue to encourage change and innovative approaches for our organizational goals. Our collaborative efforts bring our members together to plan and execute dynamic initiatives that have given us local and national recognition. Clearly, the success we have enjoyed and continue to enjoy does not allow us to become complacent. We do not think our work is done. However, we can acknowledge that our member’s commitment to diversity and inclusion by their actions are an integral part of our success.
Our legal community has come a long way and we hope that BLG’s efforts have helped to make that happen. BLG members now have diversity committees, diversity and inclusion professionals, diversity training and websites that speak to their diversity mission and goals. They also have more sophisticated recruitment programs with targeted outreach to diverse candidates, more focus on the needs of diverse attorneys and more comfort with participating in programs that address advancing diversity in their organization. This spells progress…progress that needs to continue until there is no longer a need for a targeted initiative like BLG. The upside of such a conclusion is that our members know that “change is a journey….not a destination”.
Proudly the BLG is doing work that makes a difference and fuels the growth for a more diverse legal community. There may be many paths to travel but the intersection of solid results and best practices will make a critical difference.
Diversity and inclusion are essential for a strong and powerful legal community. We will continue to provide the necessary leadership to make change happen. We hope you will join us as we continue this journey to change the complexion of Boston’s legal community.
Carolyn Golden Hebsgaard