June 20, 2017 business of law

Corporate Clients Demand More Diversity from Law Firms

By Daniel S. Wittenberg

Law is one of the least diverse white-collar professions according to Jean Lee, president and CEO of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association. “A lot of companies made a concerted effort to increase diversity internally, and now they are demanding diversity at the firms they use,” said Lee, a former vice president and assistant general counsel at JP Morgan Chase. Facebook recently joined the growing trend of companies demanding that their outside law firms have more diversity.

The tech giant announced its initiative requiring that one-third of a firm’s team working for Facebook be composed of women and ethnic minorities. The company is also asking firms to show that they “actively identify and create clear and measureable leadership opportunities for women and minorities,” according to its general counsel, Colin Stretch. Other corporations are requiring similar diversity criteria before selecting counsel.

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