MOTIVATED, ACTIVE, AND LEARNING: ON IMPROVING DIVERSITY IN THE PRACTICE OF ENVIRONMENTAL LAW IN CALIFORNIA
By Jessi Fierro*
The practice of environmental law in California needs more diversity and inclusion in its attorney ranks. The environmental movement has been dominated by white, European culture, with a distinct lack of diversity and inclusiveness, both historically and presently, and the attorneys that practice environmental law reflect similar demographics.1 The need for more diversity has never been greater.2
Today, there are an increasing number of programs that are fostering positive changes with respect to diversity and inclusion in environmental law. Although we should celebrate the successes of these programs, significant work remains to be done. The environmental law practice faces challenges in both recruiting attorneys of color, and in retaining them once they enter the profession.3 Growth in the attorney ranks must not be limited to public interest organizations; it is important that private firms, corporate counsel, and public agencies at the local, state, and federal level also take affirmative steps to increase diversity.