DEI Legislative Monitoring

October 2021

For the October 2021 Board of Directors meeting, the Legislative Monitoring Work Group of NALP's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Section provided the following summary of federal and state legislation and other developments in the law regarding issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion inside and outside of the legal profession.

Changing norms and expectations about diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace

Organizations in and outside of the legal profession are embracing new tools and strategies to demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion as workers and leadership return to the office following COVID-19.

  • The Great Resignation Doesn't Have to Threaten Your DE&I Efforts (Harvard Business Review, September 1, 2021)
  • LCLD to Require Law Firm and GC Members to Make Public, Measurable Diversity Pledges, (American Lawyer, September 21, 2021)
  • How Big Law Firms Are Using AI to Cut Down on Hiring Biases (American Lawyer, August 4, 2021)
  • Diversity at Elite Law Firms Is So Bad Clients Are Docking Fees (Bloomberg, October 5, 2021)
  • Law firm talent chiefs balance lawyers' greater expectations after COVID-19 (Reuters, September 29, 2021)
  • ABA's inaugural Equity Summit will highlight importance of inclusion; guests include Justice Sotomayor (ABA Journal, Sept. 22, 2001)

Global financial watchdogs propose "comply or explain" policies for DEI accountability Companies are under increasing pressure to ensure that the membership of their boards reflects a commitment to DEI. Both the SEC and FCA (UK) are requiring minimum board diversity targets or explain in writing why they are not doing so.

  • More Corporate Directors Welcome Rules to Boost Board Diversity (Bloomberg, October 2021)
  • A changing boardroom climate: insurance planning with ESG in mind (Reuters, September 24, 2021)
  • Inclusion, Equity, & Diversity Update - SEC Approves Nasdaq Rule on Board Diversity (JD Supra, August 23, 2021)
  • UK financial watchdog cracks down on lack of diversity in boardrooms with 'comply or explain' proposal (CNBC, July 28, 2021)
  • State Lawmakers Continue Push To Increase Diversity in Corporate Boardrooms (MultiState, March 17, 2021)
  • How To Make Corporate Boards More Diverse (Center for American Progress, September 29, 2021)

White House Issues Executive Order on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Workforce President Joe Biden signed an Executive Order to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) in the Federal workforce. According to the press release, "This Executive Order reaffirms that the United States is at its strongest when our Nation's public servants reflect the full diversity of the American people."

  • Executive Order on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Workforce (White House, June 25, 2021)

Changes to Public Service Loan Forgiveness

The Biden administration recently announced new changes to transform the troubled Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).

  • Biden To Transform Public Service Loan Forgiveness With Huge New Changes: Key Details (Forbes, October 6, 2021)
  • US Department of Education overhauls Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (CNN, October 6, 2021)

Court Rules on Right to Discriminate Based on Religious Beliefs

  • Supreme Court Issues Narrow Ruling In Fulton Vs. The City Of Philadelphia (Equality North Carolina, June 2021)
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