SSRN Home Search and Download Papers Browse Abstract and Paper Submission Subscribe to Networks View Briefcase Top Papers Top Authors Top Institutions
  go to Document Delivery
  Paper Stats:
   Abstract Views: 131
   Downloads: 35
Good Business: A Market-Based Argument for Law Firm Diversity

Harvard Law School
Harvard Law School

May 21, 2008

When advocates for increased diversity have argued that law firms ought to improve their hiring and retention of minority lawyers, they have typically made rights-based arguments. More recently, some advocates have suggested that firms can further their own business interests by promoting diversity. There has, however, been little empirical evidence that diversity is actually good for law firms' business. This Article provides data showing that highly diverse law firms generate greater revenue per lawyer and turn higher profits per partner, even after controlling for location, firm size, and hours worked. As clients continue to demand diverse representation from their firms, and as private interest groups increase pressure on firms to hire more minorities, the link between diversity and profitability may grow stronger. In this instance, moral instincts held by some align with market instincts held by others. Commentators may debate whether diversity is an abstract good in itself, but the data strongly suggest that it is good for business.

Keywords: Diversity, Legal Profession, Law Firm, Law Firm Profits, Discrimination
JEL Classifications: M51, L21, J44, J70, K49
Working Paper Series

Suggested Citation
Nguyen, Eric S. and Brayley, Douglas, "Good Business: A Market-Based Argument for Law Firm Diversity" (May 21, 2008). Available at SSRN:

Export in: Export What's this?


Contact Information for ERIC S. NGUYEN (Contact Author)

Email address for ERIC S. NGUYEN
Harvard Law School
1575 Massachusetts
Hauser 406
Cambridge , MA 02138
United States

Contact Information for DOUGLAS BRAYLEY

Email address for DOUGLAS BRAYLEY
Harvard Law School
1575 Massachusetts
Hauser 406
Cambridge , MA 02138
United States


SSRN Electronic Paper Collection

Download the document from:
Social Science Research Network
Chicago GSB
European Corporate Governance Institute
Korea University
Stanford Law School
Email Abstract or
Full Text Paper
Add to
My Briefcase

If you are experiencing download difficulties, click here.

Are you still having problems or need additional help? Contact us at Support@SSRN.Com.


Format Type

Number of Downloads


File Size

File name

Acrobat File


Apr 23, 2008




Get Acrobat Reader
  The latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader or Adobe Acrobat is required to view this paper. To obtain your free copy, click on the Acrobat button.
SSRN Resources
To search for other abstracts in the SSRN archival database, click here.

To order a membership to an SSRN Network or to subscribe to one or more of SSRN's journals, go to our online subscription request form.

To go to SSRN's main web site (, click here.

© 2008 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use
This page was served by apollo 1 in 0.109 seconds.