The Wall Street Journal Law Blog here has a post about the debate held yesterday at the American Enterprise Institute in D.C. regarding the issue of whether law firms run afoul of federal civil rights laws by giving preference to certain groups in hiring or promotions. Both sides of the argument were represented at the debate. It’s a topic that is important to law firms though it is rare that an objective discussion is held about it, outside the bounds of political correctnes.
One of the panel members at the debate, attorney Curt Levey, has written a paper which argues that that Civil Rights Act of 1964 unequivocally bars law firms–like other employers with more than 15 employees–from giving preference to female or minority attorneys in hiring, promotion or assignments. His paper also makes the argument that corporations that require outside law firms to meet "diversity goals" (and many do), could face liability under the Civil Rights Act of 1866. Wow. You don’t see those views expressed in mainstream publications like the The Wall Street Journal very often, but there it is.