Large Law Firms Treat Minority Attorneys Better

Legal Issues

Attorneys at larger law firms are more satisfied with the treatment of lawyers from diverse backgrounds than lawyers at smaller firms, according to a newly released survey (.pdf) by the Cuban American Bar Association.

The survey asked attorneys about compensation, promotions, the complexity and importance of work assignments and client contact opportunities based on diversity.

Based on the results of the survey, CABA was to recognize Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod among firms with 50 of more attorneys and Kenny Nachwalter among firms with 20 to 49 attorneys at a reception this past Thursday night.

The goal of the survey was to identify which firms have greater success in making diversity a priority, said Coral Gables, Fla., attorney Nelson Bellido. He is chair of CABA's diversity committee and a partner with Concepcion, Sexton & Martinez.

"This is going to allow the firms to identify and prioritize certain diversity goals," he said. "What CABA is doing is [asking law firms], 'Are you walking the walk, or are you just talking?'"

Respondents overall were highly positive about diversity prospects and achievements at their firms. Attorneys who expressed no opinion generally outscored attorneys expressing negative sentiments about their firms.

Overall, attorneys at large firms appeared to be more satisfied than attorneys at smaller firms with the state of diversity at their firms.

A bigger percentage of attorneys from large firms, 17 percent, felt they were treated differently because of race, gender or sexual orientation than the 12 percent at medium-size firms.

When it came to the issue of pay equity, lawyers from larger firms seemed more satisfied with minority lawyer compensation than those at smaller firms. About 67 percent of large firm lawyers agreed that minority lawyers were as likely to receive raises as nonminority lawyers compared with 63 percent at smaller firms.

The question generating some of the highest negatives in the survey asked if minority and nonminority attorneys have an equal chance at leadership roles. About 11 percent of respondents at large firms and 10 percent at smaller firms did not see a level playing field.

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USCIS to Continue Implementing New Policy Memorandum on Notices to Appear

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is continuing to implement the June 28, 2018, Policy Memorandum (PM), Updated Guidance for the Referral of Cases and Issuance of Notices to Appear (NTAs) in Cases Involving Inadmissible and Deportable Aliens (PDF, 140 KB).

USCIS may issue NTAs as described below based on denials of I-914/I-914A, Application for T Nonimmigrant Status; I-918/I-918A, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status; I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant (Violence Against Women Act self-petitions and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status petitions); I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petitions when the beneficiary is present in the US; I-929, Petition for Qualifying Family Member of a U-1 Nonimmigrant; and I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (with the underlying form types listed above).

If applicants, beneficiaries, or self-petitioners who are denied are no longer in a period of authorized stay and do not depart the United States, USCIS may issue an NTA. USCIS will continue to send denial letters for these applications and petitions to ensure adequate notice regarding period of authorized stay, checking travel compliance, or validating departure from the United States.