On November 10, 2021, AAI hosted its 15th annual Private Antitrust Enforcement Conference featuring experts and thought-leaders from across the antitrust community, including enforcement, advocacy, and academia. The panel “Antitrust and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Plaintiffs’ Antitrust Bar” discussed the current state of diversity, equity and inclusion in antitrust, noting the general trends of increasing diversity in the wider legal community, but highlighting less encouraging trends in MDL leadership appointments. Panelists illustrated broader challenges by way of personal anecdote, and offered advice and insight for attorneys facing personal barriers to success in legal circles. Discussion ranged from broad statistical patterns to individual-level matters such as impostor syndrome and mentorship. Each panelist offered their thoughts and strategies for building a robust coalition of diverse attorneys, with deep dives into education, opportunity and exposure. Panelists also touched on the effects of remote work and the pandemic on diversity, the power of allies and mentors, and how to help candidates accrue essential experience for leadership.
Highlights From the Speakers:
“[Exclusion is] a big problem, still – even among judges, we face it every day. So, where do we go? Do we solve it just with a rule? I don’t think that works (…) It really has to be ground up, not top down. And in between are who hires at the law firm, who trains and mentors, who gives you a case; those are things that are harder for judges to reach, although we try.”
On “the business case” for diversity: