Companies Make Thirty Million Dollar Pledge to Diverse Law Firms

This is a tough economy.    Diverse defense firms are experiencing severe financial stress as a result of this economy.  Amidst the backdrop of this financial crisis, several companies, including Dupont, Excelon, Microsoft, Accenture, American Airlines, Comcast, General Mills,  GlaxoSmithKline and Prudential have decided to “put their money where their mouth is” and they have pledged to spend at least thirty million dollars with minority law firms in 2010. 

According to published reports in Law.Com Corporate Counsel, the companies have dubbed their effort the “Inclusion Initiative” and they have agreed to work with the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF) to identify best practices for corporations to maximize relationships with high quality minority and women owned law firms. 

According to Thomas Sager, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Dupont, this initiative will help to improve chances “that the economic downturn does not disproportionately affect minority and women owned law firms.”  Sager also pointed out that many minority law firms are smaller and more cost effective.  Sager views this initiative as a way for corporate law firms to cut costs at a time when many law departments are trying to trim budgets.

This initiative is a “win-win”  for business and for diverse law firms.  Hopefully, long term business relationships  will result from the initiative.

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4 responses to “Companies Make Thirty Million Dollar Pledge to Diverse Law Firms

  1. the move is commendable. let it be extended to Tanzania as well.

  2. Is being a member of NAMWOLF a prerequisite to consideration or is NAMWOLF a reference point? My concern is that I’d hate to see a “chicken or the egg” situation with regard to helping minority firms expand their client bases. For instance, part of NAMWOLF’s criterion for admission includes “excellence in quality of law practiced, as evidenced by corporate references, presence on outside counsel approved lists and panels for national or regional corporations, and other awards and memberships” and “favorable client references from national and regional corporations, including corporate references within the Fortune 500.” If the Inclusion Initiative is centered on NAMWOLF firms the corporate participants will miss an opportunity to expand the pool of potential future NAMWOLF members.

  3. @M.S.Lutema,

    I read this to be a municipal issue meant just for the United States of America! However,in case the intended operational jurisdiction is wider than that,then i join you in rooting for the inclusion of Kenya as well!

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