Ways to Ensure Your Evaluations Promote Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging
For any new attorney, the evaluative process can generate a range of emotions. For some, the prospect of receiving feedback is exciting. Others, however, experience feelings of anxiety and insecurity. For many attorneys of color, as well as those with a disability, different ethnicity or sexual orientation, the performance evaluation process tends to spawn mixed feelings. As a Black associate, there was only one question that came to my mind before my mid-year review. How have I represented my race in these first six months? This has much to do with stereotypical assumptions that have led to closer monitoring and higher scrutiny for those in diverse groups, frequently with little to no opportunity for professional coaching or development. Consequently, diverse attorneys commonly receive lower overall performance evaluations, smaller raises and fewer promotional opportunities. For example, Reuters reports that 36% of 2020 summer associates who received job offers afterward were from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, but that percentage decreased with seniority level.