No matter the budget constraints,
championing diversity is worth it.
Many law departments are revisiting efforts to diversify their outside counsel ranks through getting more lawyers of color on their cases. A plethora of benchmarking tools, carrot-and-stick models, and consultants abound. Many such activities require significant budgets or structural changes that can be hard for a law department to implement when already being asked to do more with less.
Below are three Big Ideas and numerous tactics to fill the gap with simple, practical steps that can be implemented from the Chief Legal Officer to the most junior associate counsel, in any size law department. The three Big Ideas: (1) Identify and empower diversity champions in your law department; (2) Foster direct interaction with promising diverse lawyers in your space; and (3) Celebrate wins.
These ideas are based on more than 30 years of practice, most of which have been leading my own law firm while representing Fortune 500 companies and mentoring scores of minority attorneys mainly at large national law firms and in junior in-house positions.
For in-house counsel looking for a practical ready-to-implement list of ideas and tools to increase and support outside counsel diversity. click here for a two-page PDF.