California bar asks members about sexual orientation, gender identity

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The State Bar of California has added sexual orientation and gender identity questions to its online member survey.

According to the Recorder, the addition of the questions is part of a move to advance diversity in the profession. About 100,000 lawyers have completed the voluntary survey and only few have apparently complained about the new questions.

For gender, respondents can indicate female, male, transgender, gender variant/nonconforming/nonbinary, two-spirit and not listed (please specify). Two-spirit is a Native American gender status.

For sexual orientation, respondents can indicate lesbian or gay, bisexual, heterosexual, pansexual, asexual and not listed (please specify).

The member survey was previously less interested in personal characteristics.

“We expanded our survey questions to reflect best practices for collecting race, ethnicity and sexual orientation,” Jonah Lamb, bar spokesman, told the Recorder. “We also expanded our questions around career satisfaction in order to better understand overall career experience across the attorney population.”