Some Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of TDI?

To advance our mission to increase racial and ethnic diversity in the legal profession, Chicago Committee offers guidance to its member law firms to implement best practices to develop and retain their minority talent. Empirical research supports the proposition that implementing sound talent development practices in large law firms is essential to improving retention of minority attorneys.

How does TDI work?

Generally speaking, TDI is a set of tools by which law firms take an inward look at their talent development resources; implement best talent development practices and measure the impact of these action steps on the progress of their minority attorneys. TDI focuses primarily on associate attorney development systems that impact the path to partnership and it is adaptable to a range of law firm environments. Several Committee firms are already implementing all or some TDI components as tailored to fit their needs, e.g. managed associate work assignment systems, attorney competency models, attorney mentoring and intentional direction of professional development opportunities.

What are the TDI tools offered to member firms?

They are:

  • diagnostic – firms internally gather and analyze their basic historical retention data to establish the baseline for progress measurement, i.e. using data from the last three years, record the relative tenure of individual minority attorneys (associates and partners) at the firm to majority attorneys at the firm
  • a comprehensive talent development model that addresses the infrastructure and interrelationships among associate attorney work assignments, professional development, business development and evaluation as a guide for member firms as they assess and deploy their own talent development resources
  • individualized consulting by Chicago Committee including referrals to other resources
  • sustained periodic progress measurement and reporting through the TDI Success Index – a set of less than 25 criteria by which firms can measure whether their internal policies, infrastructure and culture promote the advancement and retention of minority attorneys

Have any law firms implemented TDI?

A growing number of Chicago Committee firms has implemented all or parts of TDI tailored to suit individual firm needs and firm culture. In addition, we presented TDI to the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism (ILSCCP) as a resource to advance its mandate under Supreme Court Rule 799 to foster commitment to the elimination of bias and divisiveness within the legal and judicial systems. At its June 14 meeting ILSCCP voted unanimously to send a letter of support for TDI to Illinois law firms with ten or more attorneys. In addition, the Committee agreed at the Commission’s urging to provide certain of the TDI tools to non- member firms in Illinois.

How do we arrange a meeting with Chicago Committee?

To schedule a meeting or if you have additional questions regarding TDI, you can contact The Chicago Committee by email at [email protected] or call at 312.578.5410. We look forward to hearing from you.