Diversity in the Legal Profession and Challenging the Status Quo with Renwei Chung [GWL 10]

Renwei is currently a 2L law student at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. He has an undergrad degree from Michigan State University and an MBA from the University of Chicago and is the author of The Golden Rule: How Income Inequality Will Ruin America. Renwei is also an Above the Law featured columnist, public speaker, and diversity activist.

Quotes:

Viktor Frankl – “For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself…”

Gattaca – “Just remember, I was as good as any and better than most” – Ethan Hawke’s character.

Show Notes:

His financial advisor/MBA background:

In 2008, he started working at Merryl Lynch. But of course, it was 2008 so we all know what that means….

The stock options he received as a new employee became almost worthless within 12 months after joining the company.

He witnessed a lot of financial injustices in his community, in business, and among his clients while working there and that pushed him into going into law.

Diversity in the legal profession:

Diversity is just an extension of the golden rule  –  treat people how you want to be treated

We need more empathy in the world. We face a lot of implicit, unconscious, microaggressions. People need to be conscious of the fact that your brain might be set on autopilot and you might not be aware of certain biases.

It’s important to bring race and biases to the forefront of the conversation instead of leaving it as the elephant in the room.

92% to 94% of Biglaw partners are white.

When we have the ability to step up and be the voice for equality, we should.

Diversity starts with education.

Employers need to be more proactive about implementing measures in the workplace to promote diversity.

European firms are leading the charge with cv/resume blind interviews.

Unconscious bias training seminars –  Google puts their videos on Youtube.

On blogging:

The faintest ink is better than the best memory.

He began writing down his thoughts about society, politics, sports, etc. and it became a daily activity.

#diversityactivist  –  Renwei wants this site to be a platform for racial, gender, socioeconomic and other types of diversity where people are being discriminated against. This site can be good to combine qualitative stories with analytical and quantitative data to assist in fighting for diversity.

With diversity, it’s easy to be comfortable with the status quo. But if we don’t fight for diversity, who’s going to for us?

The Golden Rule: How Income Inequality Will Ruin America –  income inequality is the issue of our lifetime. It stems from race, power, political and cultural issues.

He wrote this book to interpret the data and shed light on the problems that are on the horizon due to income inequality, which is the worst it has been since the Great Depression

At what point does the rich become too rich and powerful?

Recommended Reading:

Viktor Frankl – Man’s Search for Meaning, Gift Edition (affiliate link*)

Cal Newport – So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love (affiliate link*)

Jim Paul – What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars (Columbia Business School Publishing) (affiliate link*)

Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld – The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America (affiliate link*)

Action Item:

Nobody’s guaranteed tomorrow. Don’t let being a law student prevent you from starting what’s important to you today.

Contact Info:

www.diversityactivist.com

 

Thanks for Checking Out the Show Notes and for Listening!

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*Disclosure:  Please note that the link above is an affiliate link, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to purchase this book for your reading pleasure.

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