Diversity Dividends Collective
Diversity Dividends Collective
Boosting Outside Counsel Team Diversity & Inclusion
The Move the Needle Fund (MTN) Diversity Dividends Collective focuses on the inclusion, equity, and diversity of legal departments’ outside counsel teams — including who gets access to high-quality work, visibility and interactions with in-house counsel, and credit for developing the work.
It supplements other important efforts, such as the MCCA Diversity Survey and the ABA Model Survey, that support legal departments’ desire to analyze the diversity of their outside counsel firmwide.
The Collective streamlines and boosts the impact of outside counsel team assessments through:
- Simplified diversity and inclusion metrics;
- Financial incentives that reward progress; and
- Collective action by many legal departments.
The goal is to simplify the data collection process for both law firms and legal departments, while also incorporating meaningful goals and compliance outcomes that numerous legal departments can embrace to leverage their collective “power of the purse.” By bringing together best practices from top legal departments and Diversity Lab’s expertise on talent practices into one best-in-class program, we are leveraging proven concepts and the market power of dozens of legal departments working in unison to drive change farther and faster.
To support participating legal departments, Diversity Lab’s experts: (1) collect and analyze the data, (2) provide the results via an online dashboard that highlights areas of positive progress and challenges for their firms, and (3) serve as advisors on immediate next steps and longer-term actions that legal departments can work on in collaboration with their firms to make improvements. Our aim is to minimize the administrative work for legal departments, so they can focus their time and energy on partnering with and fostering stronger relationships with their firms.
See the recent press release announcing the initiative here.
Current Collective members include: American Water Works Company, Inc. — Arrow Electronics — Axiom — Bridgestone Americas — Chan Zuckerberg Initiative — CN — Con Edison — Corning Incorporated — Fannie Mae — Gap Inc. — The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company — Hillrom — HP Inc. — Micron Technology, Inc. — Moffitt Cancer Center — Momentive (formerly SurveyMonkey) — Petco Health and Wellness Company, Inc. — Pinterest — PNC Bank — St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital — State Street — Sunrun Inc. — Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. — Tapestry, Inc. — U.S. Bank — United States Steel Corporation — Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated — Xcel Energy
About Diversity Dividends
Who Should Participate?
All legal departments, profiles of which may include:
- Legal departments with advanced/mature outside counsel diversity programs (e.g., HP, Facebook, Microsoft, Intel, Uber, Novartis) can leverage the MTN Diversity Dividends Collective to benchmark their current programs and compliance prompts, to improve and streamline their existing practices, and wield their power more effectively in the legal industry.
- Legal departments with early-stage or intermediate programs can leverage the MTN Diversity Dividends Collective to enhance, supplement, or rebuild their current efforts and ensure their legal spending power has an outsized impact on advancing the diversity of the legal profession.
- Smaller legal departments or those that do not yet have outside counsel diversity programs can join the MTN Diversity Dividends Collective for an effective and simple way to create and sustain a new and holistic program, leveraging the learnings from other companies, with minimal resources from their in-house team and maximum effectiveness from and to the greater Collective.
What Are The Basic Requirements?
At a high level, the MTN Diversity Dividends Collective asks legal departments to commit to four actions with regard to outside counsel diversity metrics:
- Use the Diversity Dividends surveys to collect diversity demographics on the outside counsel teams working on their matters;
- Evaluate lawyer inclusion and equity at the firmwide and practice group levels for its outside counsel by requiring law firms to complete the annual Inclusion Blueprint;
- Hold their law firms accountable for achieving year-over-year progress on diverse team representation and inclusion actions by providing more work to those that make progress on at least 3 of the 5 annual metrics (detailed below) and less work to those that don’t; and
- Complete and submit an annual Confirmation Form – signed by the General Counsel – to Diversity Lab to evaluate and confirm compliance with the Collective requirements.
Note: The Diversity Dividends Collective requirements are the minimum evaluative metrics and are not meant to supplant any internal programs legal departments may already have in place. Beginning in 2022, legal departments will also be required to ask their firms to complete the MCCA Diversity Survey for analysis of firmwide diversity metrics.
How Do Legal Departments Benefit?
Working together as a Collective, participation should produce four dividends for participants and the legal profession over time:
- Increased diversity of the teams working on participants’ matters;
- Sharper focus and insight into who, as part of those diverse teams, is doing the high-level work and getting leadership and business credit to ensure an equitable distribution of power and economics on client teams;
- Accountability for law firms and legal departments that is transparent and consequential — using both carrot and stick — with legal departments moving work towards and away from law firms based on their diversity progress over time;
- Broad systemic change in the legal field through industry-wide coalescence around the granular diversity metrics that really matter and the collective “power of the purse” to wield the aggregate legal spend of hundreds of legal departments.
In addition, upon registration, participants receive a Diversity Dividends Toolkit with everything they need to successfully implement Diversity Dividends, including:
- Timelines and action items for the registration year and the following year;
- Customized survey links to send to law firms they are evaluating for new work or inclusion on a preferred provider panel and for annual data collection and evaluation;
- Draft communications about the Collective to send to outside counsel; and
- FAQs to share with law firms and communicate what the Diversity Dividends means to them.
Participants will receive access to a customized Diversity Dividends Dashboard developed by Diversity Lab’s data team that highlights areas of positive progress and challenges from the Annual Outside Counsel Evaluation for their top firms (up to 20). More than simply another data tool, Diversity Lab also serves as advisors to participants on how to use the data collected from their firms to partner with them on immediate next steps and longer-term actions they can work on together to make meaningful improvements.
What Are the Legal Department “Asks” of Their Law Firms? (aka the “5×5 Matrix”)
New Outside Counsel Engagements: Collective members will ask the following five questions of law firms and/or teams that wish to work for their company’s matters:
- Please estimate how many of the associates, counsel, and partners who will be working on a particular matter or case are (a) women, (b) from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups (disaggregated by population, if possible), (c) LGBTQ+ lawyers, and (d) lawyers with disabilities? Note: If evaluating counsel for a preferred provider panel, and not a particular matter or case, ask firms to estimate the diversity of the teams that will work on your matters.
- If your firm is engaged/hired, who will (a) receive business generation credit in the top one or two categories (e.g., origination credit, matter lead credit) that most significantly impacts compensation and (b) be the relationship partner and/or lead for the matter or relationship?
- If your firm is engaged/hired, who on the pitch team will have consistent and direct interaction with the in-house lawyers at our legal department via written correspondence, phone or video, or in-person meetings?
- How will your team and firm continue to develop a pipeline of diverse lawyers to work on our legal department’s matters in the future?
- How does your firm measure the effectiveness of the diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives it implements?
Annual Outside Counsel Evaluation: On an annual basis, Collective members will ask the following five questions of their top 20 law firms by spend:
- How many associates, counsel, and partners who worked on our legal department’s matters during the past calendar year are: (a) women, (b) from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups (disaggregated by population, if possible), (c) LGBTQ+ lawyers, and (d) lawyers with disabilities?
- How many of the lawyers who had consistent and direct interaction with the in-house lawyers in our legal department via written correspondence, phone or video, or in-person meetings are from the four underrepresented groups identified above?
- How many of the relationship partners and/or leads for our legal department’s matter(s) or case(s) are from the four underrepresented groups identified above?
- How many of the lawyers who received business generation credit in the top one or two categories (e.g., origination credit, matter lead credit) that most significantly impacts compensation are from the four underrepresented groups identified above?
- Did you complete the most recent Inclusion Blueprint?*
*Note: Beginning in 2022, this question will also ask if firms have completed the most recent MCCA Diversity Survey for analysis of firmwide diversity metrics.
What are the End Goals And Collective Prompts?
Diversity Lab will minimize the legal department resources needed to analyze outside counsel diversity performance and teams by assisting with data collection, analytics, and providing access to the Diversity Dividends Dashboard that evaluates each legal department’s top 20 firms (using their responses to the 5X5 Matrix and the Inclusion Blueprint).
No later than two years after joining the Collective, members commit to divert work from firms that do not show year-over-year progress on at least 3 of the 5 annual outside counsel evaluation metrics by a) no longer giving new matters to those firms, and b) beginning to transition existing business to law firms that do show progress on the metrics evaluated by the Collective.
How Does a Legal Department Get Started?
Register here to join the Diversity Dividends Collective. If you are interested in partnering with Diversity Lab in other ways, please review our Legal Department Partnerships to see how the Collective fits in with our other programs. The MTN Fund is subsidizing the majority of the costs associated with Diversity Dividends. To supplement the Collective, specifically the individualized data collection, analysis, access to the Diversity Dividends Dashboard, and advice and coaching from the Diversity Lab team, there will be an annual fee with a minimum two-year commitment.