Today, the issue of diversity is a key consideration for corporate attorneys who engage outside law firms to represent their companies. Many companies have enterprise-wide diversity initiatives, but even when this is not the case, law departments have focused attention on including the perspectives of women, minorities and various ethnicities in providing legal services to their enterprises.
In 1999, the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) led the way toward greater inclusiveness by inviting Chief Legal Offi cers to execute a statement of commitment to diversity in the legal profession. Roughly 500 corporate law departments are signatories to Diversity in the Workplace – A Statement of Principle, which calls on law fi rms to promote diversity internally1. In October 2004, ACC endorsed a Call to Action2 to reaffi rm this commitment with the goal that legal departments and law firms would come to reflect the diversity of the communities in which they exist. Both corporate legal departments and law firms have increased focus on diversity in their ranks. Nonetheless, many law firms have an opportunity for improvement and many corporate law departments now routinely monitor law firm diversity practices.