In spite of recent turnover in the leadership ranks at many Am Law 200 firms, minorities still constitute less than 5 percent of the leaders at the largest U.S. law firms. Firms are struggling to retain talented diverse attorneys who see greater opportunity for advancement in the corporate world. Currently, just four of the 100 largest U.S.-based law firms by attorney size have a minority leader, none of whom is a woman.

Tom Sager, a Ballard Spahr partner and former general counsel for DuPont, said that law firms focus on the short term, by definition. "There are very few long-term strategic thinkers within the senior ranks of law firms. Investing in high-potential women and minorities isn't something on their list," he said.

While at DuPont, Mr. Sager pioneered the DuPont Legal Model, an industry benchmark that has received national acclaim for its innovative approach to the business of practicing law.

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