Ensuring that a legal organization both represents and is inclusive of a wide array of backgrounds, viewpoints, and beliefs is a business imperative; yet, legal organizations struggle to translate big-picture concepts like diversity and inclusion into practical steps and actionable plans. Although many will say that the key lies in the actions and behaviors of top leaders modeling inclusion, what actually opens doors are the mid-level leaders and every day relationships that make or break an individual’s experience in a law firm. Being “frozen in the middle” is the stumbling block to inclusion for many legal organizations. This concept of “frozen in the middle” has been used to describe organizations where there is support and buy-in for diversity and inclusion at the highest levels of an organization, but the response to implementation of diversity and inclusion initiatives from colleagues on a day-to-day basis ranges from complete disregard to passive opposition.

Reprinted with permission from American Bar Association, April / 2020

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