The legal profession is defined by interaction with people, which is why law firms need to recognize and fulfill a client’s specific needs. As guardians of social justice and equality, legal professionals have a duty to serve people regardless of their race, color, religion, nationality, cultural affiliations, sexual orientation, or gender identification. However, lawyers cannot provide unbiased treatment unless they espouse it within their own ranks, says renowned California-based attorney — Joseph Cavallo. “While the legal profession has made sincere efforts to promote diversity and inclusion internally, the consensus is that progress has been slow and modest. The current wave of social unrest is perhaps the clearest sign that the United States still has much work to do to become a country where every individual is guaranteed justice, dignity, and human rights protection. Few professions are as uniquely positioned as the legal one to help build a fair, empathetic society, but this cannot be achieved without a dramatic change from the inside where diversity and inclusion are concerned,” Joseph Cavallo notes.
Despite dealing with people from all societal segments, “the legal profession remains one of the least diverse of all professions in the US,” according to the most recent review by the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession (IILP). “While minority representation among lawyers has increased from 11.3% in 2006-08 to 15.3% in 2016-18, and female representation among lawyers grew from 32.6% in 2007 to 37.4% in 2017, the data continues to show significantly inadequate representation at higher levels,” the paper said. Discussing steps that can be taken to facilitate progress, one of the contributing authors pointed out that many law firms “are recognizing the merit of flexible working policies and using innovation to help drive equality in the legal profession. We are seeing a rise in the adoption of agile working, work allocation policies, and an outputs- and outcomes-focused approach rather than the more traditional billable hours model. These are policies that can help to improve the working environment and career prospects for everyone, including women and ethnic minorities, disabled people, working fathers, and others with caring responsibilities.”
By virtue of its very nature, the legal profession has a moral and ethical obligation to champion diversity and inclusion, Joseph Cavallo says, adding that the role of lawyers throughout history has been to fight discrimination, eliminate bias, and promote equality for the greater good. He also stresses that diverse and inclusive teams are good for business as well since they reflect the eclectic composition of modern communities. Such teams are better equipped to offer sensitive, appropriate, and expert services to representatives of all social strata, which greatly contributes to the success of a legal practice. Meanwhile, law firms differentiate themselves by hiring on merit and providing training and advancement opportunities to all members of their staff. With diversity and inclusion now considered a hallmark of socially responsible corporations, law firms need to accelerate their progress in this area and truly become the standard-bearers society expects them to be.
Joseph Cavallo attended St. Peter’s College in Jersey City, NJ and then studied law at the Western State University in Fullerton, CA before his admittance to The State Bar of California. The attorney, who serves customers from offices in Irvine, CA, has become renowned for his achievements in the criminal defense field, but his track record also includes notable victories in business and personal injury litigation, winning millions in cumulative damages on behalf of his clients. Joseph Cavallo is the founder of “Adopt the Elderly,” a volunteer organization helping senior citizens find friends, as well as an advocate for women and bullied children.
The Law Office of Joseph G. Cavallo: Attorney at Law - Irvine, CA: https://www.josephcavallo.com
Joseph Cavallo Highlights the Need to Improve Access to Criminal Defense Services for Low-Income Americans: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/joseph-cavallo-highlights-improve-access-125600989.html
Law Offices of Joseph Cavallo - Irvine, California – LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/josephcavallolaw
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