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, interaction with in-house counsel, and credit for developing the work. Check out the video below to learn how the Diversity Dividends Collective (DDC) is boosting the diversity of outside counsel teams through a standardized, collective effort that focuses on impactful partnerships between legal departments and law firms.
For more information, please see the highlights below, and scroll down for a deeper dive into this bold initiative.
Registration to join the Collective will open in Spring 2023. If you’re with a legal department and would like to learn more, sign up for an info session (register here), or email Valerie Portillo at email@example.com.
Diversity Dividends Highlights
- The goal of the DDC is to standardize the data collection process for both law firms and legal departments, while incorporating meaningful goals and compliance outcomes that legal departments can embrace to leverage their collective “power of the purse.”
- DDC targets five important diversity and inclusion metrics: (1) representation, (2) client interaction, (3) leadership credit, (4) financial credit, and (5) inclusion activities.
- Diversity Lab manages the related data collection, analytics, and reporting work, and serves as a resource for Collective members to convert the data into meaningful actions to take in partnership with their law firms.
- Members have access to an interactive dashboard with data on their top 20 firms, and a Partnership Guide that offers a roadmap to interpret the data and provides suggestions for how to have productive follow-up conversations with their firms.
- Members are part of a community of in-house peers from 40+ pioneering organizations working and learning together to increase diversity among their law firms through regular community calls and special events.
- DDC launched in 2021 and our 2022 data collection efforts have yielded impressive results: we achieved an overall 93% completion rate for 615 survey requests across 320+ firms!
Current Collective members include: Alcoa Corporation — American Electric Power — American Water Works Company, Inc. — Arrow Electronics — Axiom — Bridgestone Americas — CDW — Chan Zuckerberg Initiative — CHRISTUS Health — CN — Con Edison — Corning Incorporated — Fannie Mae — Gap Inc. — The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company — HP Inc. — IDEXX Laboratories — Intermountain Healthcare — Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. (JLL) — M. A. Mortenson Company — Micron Technology, Inc. — MISO (Midcontinent Independent System Operator) — Moffitt Cancer Center — Momentive (formerly SurveyMonkey) — Petco Health and Wellness Company, Inc. — Pinterest — PNC Bank — Relativity — San Francisco 49ers — 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
Diversity Dividends Deep Dive
Who Should Participate?
Legal departments of all sizes, profiles of which may include:
- Legal departments with advanced/mature outside counsel diversity programs 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.
At a high level, the MTN Diversity Dividends Collective asks legal departments to commit to the following actions with regard to outside counsel diversity metrics:
- Enroll a senior lawyer who will serve in an oversight role for the Diversity Dividends Collective;
- Actively participate in knowledge sharing on quarterly calls with fellow Collective members;
- Require your law firms to complete the Annual Outside Counsel Evaluation, administered by Diversity Lab, each year;
- Require your law firms to complete the Firm Leadership Assessment of the Inclusion Blueprint, administered by Diversity Lab, every other year;
- Engage in follow up conversations with each of your law firms, using the data collected by Diversity Lab; and
- Divert work from firms that do not show year-over-year progress on the metrics evaluated by the Collective and provide more work to firms that do.
Our overall goal is to create more diverse, equitable and inclusive outside counsel teams through a standardized, collective effort. We cannot do that successfully with the increasing amount of bespoke surveys sent to law firms that do not measure the most impactful metrics or hold firms accountable to making meaningful progress. In that spirit, to join the Diversity Dividends Collective, your legal department also commits to only use the Diversity Dividends Annual Outside Counsel Evaluation to collect diversity demographic data from the law firms you select to participate.
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 access to a Knowledge Bank with everything they need to successfully implement Diversity Dividends, including:
- Timelines and action items for the registration year and the following year;
- Draft communications about the Collective to send to internal colleagues and outside counsel;
- FAQs to share with law firms and communicate what Diversity Dividends means to them;
Access to a comprehensive partnership guide; and
Invitations to participate in regular community calls and special events with Diversity Lab and fellow Collective members.
Click to View a Preview of the Partnership Guide
Participants will receive also 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 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?
Annual Outside Counsel Evaluation: On an annual basis, Collective members will ask the following five questions of their select law firms:
- 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?
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 Annual Outside Counsel Evaluation 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?
Registration to join the Diversity Dividends Collective will open in Spring 2023, and info sessions are now open! You’re welcome to register here to attend a session that works for you, or email Valerie Portillo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 is an annual fee of $5,000 with a minimum two-year commitment.