BCG Attorney Search, a recognized legal search firm in the United States, launches a Diversity Recruiting Practice with Evan Anderson as its leader. Harrison Barnes, the CEO of BCG Attorney Search, applauds Mr. Anderson’s new charge: “The Diversity Recruiting Practice will concentrate on the employment placement of applicants from underrepresented backgrounds, including gender, ethnic, and LBGT. Mr. Anderson will represent BCG in this new practice. As the firm’s West Coast Managing Director based in San Francisco, CA, he has already committed to working with diverse talent and connecting candidates with employers who are dedicated to recognizing diversity awareness.”
Anderson sat down for an interview with JD Journal to explain more about BCG Attorney Search’s objectives in its new Diversity Recruiting Practice, and how he will persuade employers to hire diverse attorneys:
Q: How important is it to hire diverse talent these days?
Anderson: Hiring diverse talent is a must these days if law firms want to remain competitive. Corporate clients drive the focus on hiring diverse attorneys. For those clients who have international business and a diverse workforce, an attorney who can speak multiple languages or comes from a background similar to the workers of the client’s staff is in a better position to resolve the client’s issues. A diverse attorney can bring to a law firm different kinds of business opportunities and strategies.
Q: Is there still a lot of work to be done for law firms to create a diverse workforce?
Anderson: Law firms realize each attorney brings unique experiences to a firm. Statistics show firms have concentrated on creating a diverse workforce for the past ten years, but there is much work to be completed. In 2010, according to the American Bar Association, 88.1% of lawyers were white and 70% were male. In 2012, the Association for Legal Career Professionals reported about 2% of attorneys being openly lesbian, bisexual, gay, or transgender. Currently, just about half of all American law firms report they employ an LBGT attorney, and 60% of these firms are located in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., New York, and San Francisco.
Q: What is special about BCG Attorney Search’s new Diversity Recruiting Practice?
Anderson: There are smaller recruiting firms who concentrate only on diversity applicants, but BCG Attorney Search is one of the first of the larger national legal recruiting firms to launch a practice specialized in diversity hiring. BCG plans to take a superstar role in placing hundreds of diverse attorney talent from underrepresented backgrounds at firms. This will diversify the legal industry, not just in the United States, but around the world.
Q: What is your experience in assisting diverse attorneys to secure legal positions?
Anderson: I joined BCG Attorney Search after a career in legal management consulting. As a career advisor at Shannon & Manch, LLP in Washington, DC, I assisted outplaced attorneys in determining which law firms in the California, New York, and Washington D.C. markets best suited their skills, experience, personality, and long-term objectives. I critiqued resumes and cover letters and helped LBGT, women, and ethnically diverse attorneys enhance their interview skills with mock interviews. I continue to develop and present workshops to law firms that concentrate on retaining diverse talent and inclusiveness. Since 2006, I have worked with the Washington National Cathedral on initiatives that strive to improve communications between Muslim countries and Western nations. In 2010, I oversaw the coordination of the first Christian-Muslim Summit in Washington D.C. and attended a two-week summit in Beirut.
Q: What makes you a successful recruiter for diverse talent?
Anderson: I have worked with attorneys since I was seventeen years-old. I was born in Key West, FL and raised in Key West and Tallahassee, FL. My first job in high school was with the Florida Attorney General’s Office in the Antitrust Division. I then I served as a policy advisor to two of Florida’s governors and one cabinet member. I believe I’m particularly adept at relationship building and have been able to help my candidates leverage their personal and professional networks to achieve their career goals. I’m also very skilled with mock interviews. I know how to help my diverse candidates step outside themselves during interviews to convey confidence in their abilities. That confidence translates into job offers when I contemporaneously advocate for them with a tough skin, and work efficiently with employers. As a gay man, I understand well what it’s like when a workplace is not particularly diverse or diversity friendly and how that affects you both daily, and in your overall career development.