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25 U.S. companies commit to using women and minority-owned law firms

Inclusion Initiative pledges to retain $139 million worth of outside counsel from these firms

U.S. companies are opening up their pocketbooks to support diversity. The 25 companies in the National Association of Minority- and Women-Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF) Inclusion Initiative have promised to spend $139 million on retaining outside counsel from law firms owned by women and minorities. Participating companies include Microsoft Corp., Google Inc., McDonald’s Corp. and Aetna Inc.

This is an important step in addressing the lack of diversity in the legal profession. In the U.S., only 6.56 percent of law firm partners are minorities, and just 2.04 percent are minority women.

"It sends a signal and serves as an impetus for other companies who are not part of this initiative to consider creating more opportunities for firms like ours to compete for legal work," NAMWOLF chairman and Gonzalez Saggio and Harlan partner Emery Harlan told NorthJersey.com. Gonzalez Saggio and Harlan is a national minority-owned firm.

The companies in the Inclusion Initiative are currently on track to exceed their promised amount for 2012.

Read more at NorthJersey.com

Visit InsideCounsel’s Transformative Leadership site, which features news and other stories about diversity in the legal profession.

Read more InsideCounsel articles and columns about diversity.

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