Beth Bilson, “A Dividend of Diversity: The Impact of Diversity on Organizational Decision Making”

Working Abstract

Many law firms and other legal employers have begun to adopt equity and diversity policies, sometimes in response to pressure from major corporate clients who have adopted a contract compliance approach to retaining outside lawyers. The “business case” for equity and diversity has been influential in leading legal organizations to embrace and accommodate a more diverse workforce. This paper contains a brief introduction to a body of social science literature suggesting that more diversity in the makeup of groups making decisions and solving problems in organizations strengthens the decision-making process and leads to more effective performance by groups. The paper then suggests some of the practical implications of these studies for legal employers.

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