Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Catchy Slogans and Buzzwords with Little Proof That They Matter to the Legal Profession in Massachusetts!

Sheriece M. Perry, Office of Court Management, Massachusetts Trial Court

Boston College Law Review.  

Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants dedicated his life and much of his work on the bench of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to racial equity and justice. Sheriece Perry credits the late Chief Justice with his support of the Supreme Judicial Court’s Standing Committee on Lawyer Well-Being, and discusses the work this committee has done since his passing. Principally, the committee issued a Town Hall Report in February 2021 that revealed a disappointing underrepresentation of women and people of color among Massachusetts attorneys. Diversity, equity, and inclusion, Perry explains, have become buzzwords in society and the workplace, but the Town Hall Report proves that these slogans do not guarantee meaningful change. Perry uses her own story to illustrate the particular challenges women of color face as attorneys. She tethers her personal narrative and the current crisis of racial inequity to the ongoing legacy of Chief Justice Gants, who believed in real, practicable reform to attack injustice––not just lip service