The report, issued this week, suggests Axiom’s roster of lawyers across the United States is significantly more diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, and gender than the industry standard. This, says the company, underscores its focus on creating a culture of inclusivity, where different backgrounds and perspectives are embraced as having real value for both the company and its clients.
Axiom the disruptor
“Axiom is a disruptor. It’s in our DNA, and our inherent diversity is part of that disruption,“ said Catherine Kemnitz, Senior Vice President, Axiom.
“We have long disrupted the status quo, creating a better way to practice law – a model that benefits both our lawyers and our clients. It’s a model that eschews the traditional pyramid paradigm and billable targets and is instead rooted in career self-determination, flexibility, customised career paths, and passion for the work.
“We believe our model is not only inevitable; it inevitably attracts a more diverse population of talented lawyers, allowing us to achieve a real, tangible culture of diversity – and one that scales.”
Despite the well-documented advantages of diversity – including greater resilience, greater adaptability, and the ability to pull from multiple perspectives – the legal industry continues to fall behind in recruiting and retaining diverse talent.
Just 15% of lawyers in the United States identify as racial or ethnic minorities. Axiom’s dedication to creating a better career destination for lawyers and providing legal departments with access to limitless expertise has diversity at its core.
By offering a unique approach to building a career in law, Axiom has attracted a diverse bench of highly capable lawyers. This diverse bench, in turn, provides clients with multiple perspectives, leading to more innovative solutions and, ultimately, better legal outcomes.
Of Axiom’s US-based lawyers, 25.9% identify as racial or ethnic minorities, as defined by the National Association for Law Placement (NALP). That number grows to 30.5% when expanded to include a broader definition of minority, more consistent with the American Bar Association (ABA). In fact, these statistics are almost double the industry standard as measured by ABA and NALP (15% and 16.1% respectively).
Also, 53% of Axiom lawyers identify as women, against 36% (ABA) and 35.4% (NALP); and of those, 31% are minority women, compared to NALP’s 8.1%. Among Axiom’s new hires in 2018, 54.9% identified as women, and 32.1% separately identified as racial or ethical minorities – statistics well above industry standards.
Sidra Berman, Chief Marketing Officer, Axiom, said: “We are incredibly proud that we are making the world of law more inclusive, and would love to see that diversity spread more widely across the industry. In fact, we would not only love it; we challenge our peers in the industry to commit to it, by improving the diversity of their lawyers and their employees, overall.
“Until then, we will lead by example – demonstrating to the industry the many tangible beneﬁts of working with lawyers from diverse backgrounds, while partnering with our clients to help meet their diversity goals. And we will continue to lead by example beyond the world of law. As a business, we take pride in our culture of inclusivity, and I take particular pride in how we have championed and elevated women in a way that isn’t typical in business – but absolutely must be.”
Axiom’s commitment to Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) and equality is reflected in its corporate employees. Women make up 51.8% of Axiom corporate employees, 43.6% of Axiom VPs and above, 40% of the Executive Leadership Team, and 33.3% of Board Members. The racial and ethnic diversity among corporate employees is also in line with that of the US population (23.3% versus 24.4%, respectively).
Elena Donio, CEO of Axiom, said: “Throughout Axiom’s 20 years, we’ve oﬀered lawyers a unique approach to building their careers based on empowerment, flexibility, choice, and access to some of the most exciting client work in the world.
“The very nature of our model and our firm commitment to an inclusive environment have helped us attract and engage a diverse team of lawyers and business leaders, who are passionate about the work we do and the opportunities that diversity brings to our clients.
“Our hope is that by sharing our data, we can open up the conversation about how companies can support employees from many different backgrounds, and ultimately create a more diverse world of law.”
To view the Diversity Report 2018|2019, click here.