True, the ceiling still exists to an extent (not just for minorities but for women as well). The culture at many firms is still very much an 'old boys' network.
The instructor of my Con Law course said exactly the same thing.
I also noticed during my many paralegal interviews and observations that I met with only one woman lawyer, and the others were all white men--most of whom asked little or nothing about education and skills and abilities, but seemed more interested about who I know, my marital status, etc. None of the law firms asked about letters of reference or recommendation, certificate awards, etc.
I usually felt more as if I was interviewed for a potential client/lawyer relationship and was almost always offered a business card. It seemed that the larger the firm, the less likely to make it past the front desk, while at one of the small firms I felt as if I was expected to handle my own interviews and then bill myself for the consultation fees.
The only black lawyers and one Hispanic lawyer whom I have observed (at court) were practicing criminal defense at state and federal levels.
Interestingly enough, lawyers do not discuss their own personal lives during an interview. Only two of the lawyers interviewed kept family pictures in the office. While it seemed white men could much more easily enter as an associate of a firm directly from law school, only the woman lawyer was in solo practice and, after establishing a clientele, was invited to join a law firm.
The only encouraging thought that I have concerning the matter is that one person's glass ceiling is someone else's glass floor.