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The South Carolina Bar today shared summary results from its first all-member survey. The survey is a key milestone in the Five-Year Strategic Diversity Plan and included questions about members’ demographics; experiences and perspectives related to diversity, equity, and inclusion; and member activity and involvement.
Some key insights include:
- Attorneys of color and female attorneys are less likely to feel included and engaged in the SC Bar.
- There is room for improvement across all aspects of the member experience regardless of race, age, and gender.
- One in three respondents have experienced bias, harassment, or discrimination during their professional life.
“The South Carolina Bar leadership is committed to improving diversity, equity, and inclusion in our state’s legal profession, and this research is an important first step in understanding our work ahead,” said President Mary E. Sharp. “This baseline data offers a guide for where and how we need to focus efforts. The South Carolina Bar Board of Governors and leadership will continue to ask tough questions, engage in necessary conversations, and work tirelessly to make progress as we know that a diverse legal profession positively impacts the administration of justice, ensures fairness, and promotes the rule of law.”
The SC Bar partnered with Spring International, an independent research organization, to conduct an all-member survey in May 2021. All active SC Bar members were invited to take the online, confidential survey. A total of 2,960 members responded to the survey, representing 22 percent of active members. The sample is representative at the 99 percent confidence level.
“Thank you to all the members who took time out of their busy schedules to answer questions and share their experiences,” said Clifford L. Bourke, Jr., chair of the SC Bar’s Five-Year Strategic Diversity Plan Implementation Committee. “Learning about your experiences today will help us map a future for a more diverse legal profession in South Carolina. Our work is just beginning as we refine an overall strategic vision and plan for the Bar that incorporates diversity, equity, and inclusion within all goals and programs. We invite members to offer ideas and suggestions as we continue focusing on action items to help the Bar ultimately reflect the rich diversity of our state.”
Presentations about the survey results are being planned and will provide the opportunity for all Bar members to learn more, give feedback and discuss results. More information and details about these events will be shared soon. In addition, if you have feedback, questions, or ideas, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.