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Black Cyber Lawyers See Racial Diversity as Key to Data Safety, Bloomberg Law, ft. Avery Dial

Posted Jul 1, 2021

Avery Dial, partner and co-deputy chair of KDV’s data privacy & cybersecurity practice group, was featured in a Bloomberg Law article on July 1, 2021.

Attorney Camille Stewart co-founded #ShareTheMicInCyber, a nonprofit initiative elevating Black cybersecurity professionals and tackling racism and sexism in the field, as the anti-racism movement gained momentum last summer.  Even as the Covid-19 pandemic raged, Stewart, the global head of product security strategy at Google LLC, felt a sense of urgency to begin organizing diversity and inclusion efforts in the cyber industry. So far that initiative, stemming from social media, has spurred at least six lawyers to work at drawing a more diverse workforce to the field.  Her efforts have taken on new importance as the rash of recent cyberattacks on companies like SolarWinds Inc., Colonial Pipeline Inc., and JBS S.A. highlight the critical need for more cyber professionals. The industry is facing a skills gap with almost a half-million open cyber positions, according to Cyber Seek US, a job-tracking tool, and Black cybersecurity and privacy lawyers say there is a particular need for legal professionals. Stewart said bringing more diverse talent to the field, especially in cybersecurity law, will close that gap and help companies improve defenses.

Avery A. Dial, co-deputy chair of the data privacy and cybersecurity practice at Kaufman Dolowich Voluck LLP, pointed to his firm’s participation since 2019 in the Mansfield Rule certification program and said there are diverse candidates for firms looking to hire. Administered by Diversity Lab, the Mansfield Rule measures participating law firms’ hiring practices to ensure at least 30% of the candidates considered for senior positions are women, lawyers of color, LGBTQ+ lawyers, and lawyers with disabilities. “While in the legal industry there are, in general, a limited number of cybersecurity attorneys, we were still able to add diverse attorneys to the practice group in the past year,” Dial said in a statement, including hiring a woman as practice group chair.

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