Diversity Dividends Collective
Diversity Dividends Collective
Boosting Law Firm Outside Counsel Team Diversity & Inclusion
Other important efforts, such as the MCCA Diversity Survey and the ABA Model Survey, support legal departments’ desire to analyze and monitor firmwide diversity. The Move the Needle Fund (MTN) Diversity Dividends Collective supplements those efforts by concentrating specifically on the diversity, inclusion, and equity of outside counsel teams — including who gets access to high-quality work, visibility and interactions with in-house counsel, and credit for developing or expanding the work.
The Collective streamlines and increases the impact of outside counsel team diversity assessments through simplified metrics, financial incentives, and collective action by legal departments. By bringing together best practices from several top legal departments and Diversity Lab’s expertise on law firm practices into one best-in-class program, Diversity Dividends leverages proven concepts and the market power of dozens of legal departments working in unison to drive change farther and faster.
The objective is to simplify the diversity 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 increase diversity of their outside counsel teams and leverage their collective “power of the purse” across the industry. The Diversity Dividends Collective drives meaningful change in the legal industry by fostering stronger partnerships between law departments and their firms.
In addition to analyzing and providing access to a dashboard that highlights areas of positive progress and challenges for their firms, Diversity Lab’s experts serve as advisors to the legal departments on immediate next steps and longer-term actions they can work on together to make measurable improvements.
Legal departments interested in participating or learning more, please sign up for a legal department information session or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 is a small fee of $1,500 per year, with a minimum two-year commitment.