The Labor Department Thinks It Can "Fix" The Lack Of Racial Diversity At Major Law Firms

On Wednesday of this week, a guy named Craig Leen — Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs in the Department of Labor — showed up in Manhattan to hold a “town hall” meeting with representatives of major law firms. The event was covered at law.com here, and then commented on by Paul Mirengoff at Power Line here. The headline of the law.com piece is “Government Warns Law Firms of Consequences for Diversity Failures.” Mirengoff characterizes the DOL’s effort as “seek[ing] to impose a radical diversity agenda on law firms.”

The gist of Leen’s presentation was that you guys have a big problem here that you need to “fix,” or there will be consequences. From law.com:

Craig Leen . . . told industry representatives at a town hall meeting in New York that the scarcity of women and minorities at firms in leading roles has been noted by the office, and it will be taking a closer look. Leen said in a brief interview after the meeting that “there is evidence of low representation at law firms and financial firms, and our goal is to fix it and work with them to do so." . . . Leen said during Wednesday's meeting that the office looks at systemic issues, “and we are seeing serious issues.”

So what’s your game plan, Craig? The law.com article describes Leen making veiled threats of cutting off federal contracts for firms that don’t meet some unstated targets. He made these remarks to the right group, since there is no collection of people more filled with a deep sense of guilt over their success than major law firm leaders. On the other hand, since federal contracts are a very small part of the business of major law firms, the chance of Leen’s threat having any meaningful effect is about zero.

But more important, what are the “serious” and “systemic” issues that Leen claims to be seeing? . . .

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Progressive Hypocrisy At The Highest Levels: The Case Of Paul Weiss

Progressive Hypocrisy At The Highest Levels:  The Case Of Paul Weiss

A core mission of this blog has been making fun of sanctimonious progressives who demand that others be forced to take actions and make sacrifices that the progressives themselves would never make in their own lives. The climate follies provide nearly infinite examples. Almost as many examples can be found in the realm of “diversity, equity and inclusion.” This week we have an example of a progressive icon at the very highest level caught with its pants down in “diversity” hypocrisy.  Oh, what fun!

Have you heard of the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, sometimes known just as “Paul Weiss”?  If you haven’t, you should have.  It is one of those New York-based firms at the very pinnacle of the U.S. legal firmament.  It has around 1000 lawyers and about 200 partners, plus or minus.  The firm represents a who’s who of corporate America in corporate transactions and litigation.  According to the American Lawyer, in 2017 the partners at Paul Weiss earned an average of over $4.5 million per head.  That is not a typo.  Expectations are that profits for 2018 will be up substantially.

In a post way back in June 2014 titled “Is Lack Of ‘Diversity’ At Big Law Firms A Crisis?” I summarized some of the strange history of the New York legal practice, particularly the long-time division of the profession into Jewish and non-Jewish firms.  From the late 19th through mid-20th centuries, thousands of Jews, many the children of recent immigrants, flooded into the legal profession, in numbers far exceeding their percentage of the overall population; but the then-prestigious “white shoe” firms nakedly discriminated against the Jews.  As a result, many Jews formed their own start-up firms, some of which then grew to become powerhouses by the late-20th century.  Today, many of these firms continue to have substantial pluralities of Jews in their ranks of attorneys, and even more so at the top levels of leadership. . . .

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Things For You To Feel Guilty About Today

When you get right down to it, the fundamental driver of the progressive/New York mindset is guilt.  By leading your affluent and comfortable life, you have caused great suffering among the downtrodden and oppressed people of the nation and the world!  And now you must atone for your sins!  The atonement shall consist of acquiescing in (and paying for) collective solutions imposed upon you by your moral betters in government and academia.  Of course the solutions will not work -- collective solutions to human problems never work -- but that does not matter.  What matters is that at least some of your feelings of guilt will be alleviated through your submission to the atonement.  Remarkable numbers of people among the educated and affluent actually do feel guilty about their position in life, and therefore are highly vulnerable to this kind of appeal.

If you do not share the propensity to believe that all imperfections in the world have been caused by your sins -- and I, for one, do not share that propensity -- then observing the progressives taking their guilt trips can provide a good deal of entertainment and humor.  How about a couple of examples for today?

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