“More than a year has passed since a black lawyer in private practice stood at the lectern in the elegant courtroom and spoke the traditional opening line, “Mr. Chief Justice and may it please the court.””

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That’s a sentence from this article, which also notes:

… Several factors account for the dearth of minorities at the court: continuing problems in recruiting and retaining blacks and other minorities at the top law firms; the rise of a small group of lawyers who focus on Supreme Court cases; the decline in civil rights cases that make it to the high court; and the court’s dwindling caseload. …

… Of 46 Washington law offices with more than 100 attorneys, 28 reported that less than 3 percent of their partners are black. Seven firms had no black partners, according to a report by Building a Better Legal Profession, a group of law students who compiled data provided by the firms.

Morrison & Foerster’s Washington office, where Days works, has just two black partners, although that placed the firm fourth in the Washington rankings at 5.6 percent. Blacks are better represented among associates at these firms.

Two-thirds of minority lawyers leave their firms within the first four years of practice, generally too short a period in which to make partner, the American Bar Association has said.

Nationally, about 5 percent of law firm partners are black, a number that has crept higher over the past 30 years. Partners typically share in firms’ profits or losses, while associates are employees.

At the same time, a fairly small circle of lawyers controls more and more of the court’s caseload even as the number of cases the justices accept is going down, Georgetown University law professor Richard Lazarus argues in a study. …

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0 Responses to “More than a year has passed since a black lawyer in private practice stood at the lectern in the elegant courtroom and spoke the traditional opening line, “Mr. Chief Justice and may it please the court.””

  1. Ralph M. Stein says:

    I would hope that ANY lawyer appearing before the Supreme Court knows that “Mr. or “Ms.” is not used these days in addressing a justice.