Diversity is an important issue for law firms. It’s a white-hot phrase that must be treated carefully, respectfully, and authentically. Websites that casually buy $20 stock photos after searching “diverse conference room” to check the “Diversity” box run the risk of being called out for insincerity.
BTW, in my opinion, equally transparent is representing your firm’s Diversity using cheap stock photos of crayons, colored pencils, flags, fake conference room meetings, or multi-ethic handshakes.
Even in today’s post-truth “alternative facts” world, language matters. Words matter. And certain words matter a lot. We all know that.
For ethical purposes, lawyers must use words like Expert and Specialize more gingerly and accurately, lest you put your law license at unnecessary risk. When there are equivalent less-problematic options (e.g. “focus” rather than “specialty”), it’s advantageous to avoid the troublesome.
Here’s a tin-eared website home page photo from a small law firm that made me laugh out loud.
Did you have the same reaction? Now, if their testimonials are to be believed, they’re good lawyers who do good work for their clients in the personal injury, divorce, and criminal defense areas. But they’re so badly misusing the word “diverse” that I had trouble getting past that.
How do they define “diverse?” Both blue and red ties? Blue and brown eyes? Gray and brown hair? Apparently they mean “all your legal needs,” although I wouldn’t normally define three practice areas as “all.”
Regardless, I’d suggest that two middle-aged white guys in suits should generally avoid using the word “diverse.”
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