It’s not unusual for large companies to demand that the law firms that I hire have a certain amount of women or minority attorneys or that they staff the company’s matters with women or minority attorneys.The latter always felt a bit forced to us — not because any associates were more or less qualified, but just because it was odd to have to deal with staffing on such a micro level.
A group of companies has proposed a way to skip this staffing middle man and go straight for firms whose diversity starts at the top.
Prudential Financial, Microsoft, DuPont and several other companies have joined an initiative that pledges to spend $30 million in 2010 on work from minority- and women-owned law firms, Zach Lowe reported for The Am Law Daily.
This will, of course, likely result in overall cost savings for the firms — women- and minority-owned firms means smaller and therefore likely less expensive firms. Despite this fact and the simple truth that these companies will of course not totally abandon their big-firm ways, legal business from companies of this size and stature is appreciated by all firms, no matter what piece of the legal pie they get.
Prudential Financial general counsel Susan Blout told Am Law that Prudential and DuPont got together and convinced in-house counsel at other companies to join their plan.
Read Lowe’s full report at Am Law Daily.
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