Each year, The Minority Law Journal publishes a "Diversity Scorecard" — a ranking of how large law firms are doing in their efforts to diversity the legal profession.  In the past, rankings have been based on the percentage of minority lawyers at a firm.  This year, in results that were published today, a new formula gives additional weight to minority lawyers who have actually reached partnership rank.

"This number is a truer gauge, we believe, of what kind of progress a firm is making in hiring lawyers of color at every level, with an emphasis on those at the most senior levels."  Diversity Scorecard 2009.

The law firm that ranked first in 2008 dropped to No. 20 in 2009, and five firms lost their top 20 status altogether — including one that dropped from No. 6 to No. 57.  On the other hand, seven new firms ascended to the top 20 — including one that rose from No. 47 to No. 4.  Quite a shake-up.

This excellent article also mentions that the relative numbers of African American, Asian American and Hispanic lawyers remained essentially flat — and discusses some of the reasons why.  The Minority Law Journal is published by Incisive Media.