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Florida law firms see uptick in diversity, but progress uneven across ranks

Racial and ethnic diversity within Florida's largest law firms has seen modest overall improvements, but significant gains are evident in the composition of executive committees at firms like Carlton Fields and Shutts & Bowen. Over the past year, while the state's law firms increased their diverse lawyer counts by 1.5%, changes at the partner and executive committee levels were less pronounced, with most firms reporting stagnant or declining diversity among equity partners. Carlton Fields and Shutts & Bowen, however, have made notable strides in enhancing diversity at the highest levels of their leadership. Shutts & Bowen increased the diversity of its executive committee from 25% to 40% in the past year, with a significant representation from the Hispanic community. Carlton Fields also reported over 35% of its executive committee seats being held by diverse attorneys, maintaining its status as the firm with the highest percentage of diverse committee members. Both firms have benefited from their inclusive hiring practices and the demographic shifts in Florida's educational institutions, which have led to a more diverse pool of law graduates. This natural increase in diversity at the associate level has contributed to more inclusive leadership representation over time.

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