Alone at the Top

Diversity initiatives are slow to reach firms' highest positions

While many law firms are taking action on promoting diversity, firms in Denver are lagging when it comes to electing minority attorneys to managing partner positions or leadership positions.

In March, Gordon Rees Scully & Mansukhani elected Franz Hardy co-managing partner of the firm’s Denver office. And as John Palmeri, his counterpart in the position, suspected, Hardy is the only minority managing partner of a mid-size or larger firm in Denver — counting those with more than 20 attorneys or roughly the top 50 firms on Law Week’s Colorado 200 list. According to Hardy, that distinction is more a sign of entrenched ideologies rather than a personal accolade.

“My take is there’s a sense of tradition that continues and an attitude that firms have been relatively successful without having to make forward-thinking changes,” Hardy said. “The other side of that coin is that law firms have not had a catalyst for change, whether internally or externally through client or industry pressure, to require firms to think about changes within their leadership.”

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the June 4, 2018 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.