Boston Bar Associations Diversity & Inclusion Section Conference The Future of Boston Law Firms in a Global Economy June 5, 2012 E. Macey Russell Partner, Choate Hall & Stewart Co-Chair, Diversity and Inclusion Section
What Corporate Law Departments and Their In-House Counsel Can Do Now: How to Advance Diversity and InclusionForm a committee. • Create a committee that meets on a regular basis to review materials submitted by diverse attorneys. • Be sure to establish expectations for diverse attorneys and provide honest feedback. • If you need assistance with structuring a committee for your department and determining short- and long-term goals, there are resources available to assist you, including The Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession (www.TheIlLP.com ) and the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (www.mcca.org ). • If your law department is too small to support a formal committee, consider meeting informally to discuss some of the strategies outlined below. • If your department already has a diversity committee that is primarily focused on the internal career progression and professional development of in-house counsel, consider adding responsibility for increasing the diversity of outside legal counsel (or create a separate committee/subcommittee to do so). This responsibility would include assessing and evaluating your preferred law firms commitment to diversity.Appoint a diversity officer or liaison. • Consider appointing an officer or liaison who will: o Follow-up with diverse attorneys after bar association events o Keep the lines of communication open and clear o Create an internal data bank of diverse attorneys by state and practice area for in-house counsel to consider o Request diversity information from law firms and measure progress
• The officer or liaison should make it easy for diverse attorneys to communicate with the law department and for in-house counsel to identify diverse outside counsel should the need arise. • The officer or liaison should oversee the in-house diversity committee and work with law firms on their diversity plans, as well as related programs and events. Having a person in this role is crucial if corporations truly want more diversity in the law firms they use as outside counsel.Actively encourage diversity in the outside firms you work with. • Law departments can and often do use diversity as a means to narrow the list of potential firms or to break a tie among equal firms when giving out business. The "diversity tipping point" should be used by law departments at either the inception of the law firm relationship when awarding business or to enhance a business relationship with an existing law firm. Either way, the department should make it clear to the law firm that new or increased business is a direct result of diversity. These measures will have a direct effect upon advancing diversity in outside firms, given that: o Many diverse attorneys struggle to develop a book of business, become partners and remain partners—making it hard to achieve and maintain diversity within outside firms overall. o Business generation translates into power and respect for diverse partners in the law firm setting, which in turn demonstrates the value of diversity to their firms. o A diverse partner with power can make the difference between a diverse associate staying at the firm or not. This contributes to improving the "pipeline," since it is much easier for firms to recruit diverse talent if they have diverse partners. Down the road, this will increase the number diverse candidates for in- house positions. • Host diverse outside counsel for an annual in-house diversity conference, which will strengthen the relationships between diverse counsel and the corporation, and will also provide a platform to discuss everything from billing rates to substantive issues. You can also consider hosting monthly or quarterly luncheons to discuss company objectives and challenges with diverse counsel.Establish in-house clerkship positions for diverse associates. • Law firms and corporate law departments should work together to launch a "First Year Diversity Clerkship Program." Each year, they would agree to hire one or two diverse first-year law students for the summer who would split time working between the law department and law firm.
• An example of such a program is the citywide diversity clerkship program launched by the Boston Lawyers Group in 2007 with the support of major institutions and some of the citys most prominent law firms. Under the program, BLG supplies first year resumes to corporations and law firms who then team up to interview and select students. This program introduces diverse attorneys to practice areas important to significant firm clients. Law firms and corporate law departments should consider joining this program. • Why are clerkship programs effective? o The law department and law firm develop diverse talent in areas of the law and business important to the client and widen the diversity pipeline. o Experiences in the program help diverse law students learn some of the ins and outs of a clients business and about law firm life, and serve as a valuable resource when students undergo interviews and are considered for full-time offers. o The summer experience supplements the students law school grades, which for some students can be a barrier to being hired, provides the student with writing samples and references that can speak to the students true talents and abilities, and gives the student a better chance for success as an associate because he or she now understands what is expected.Make networking with diverse outside counsel part of your routine. • Meet for a cup of coffee with diverse attorneys as an opportunity to get to know each other—not as a formal business pitch. • Consider planning to connect with a diverse counsel contact at an upcoming bar association event, to eliminate any pressure of having to meet for a designated time period. • Accept marketing materials and a resume from diverse attorneys you meet. Bring these to the consideration of the diversity committee or designated diversity contact within your law department. When possible, allow diverse attorneys the chance to make that 30 second pitch, with the potential for a follow-up pitch presentation. • When you meet a diverse attorney who works for a firm on your approved list of outside counsel, stay connected. o Consider calling your contact at the firm and request that the diverse attorney become involved with the next deal or litigation matter. You can also arrange to meet with the relationship partner and the diverse attorney. o Notify your in-house colleagues that the diverse attorney works in his/her area of expertise and/or at an approved law firm.
What Law Firms And Their Partners Can Do Now: How to Remove Internal Law Firm Barriers to the Success of Diverse AttorneysSupport existing diverse partners. • Law firms must stabilize and support their existing diverse partners and senior associates to prevent them from leaving their firms and eroding diversity efforts. • Diverse partners and senior associates are key to developing sustainable diversity in your firm. • Support should include having diverse partners and associates attend minority bar association conferences, such as MCCA events and the ABAs Minority Counsel Program, with clear strategic goals and objectives in place in advance of the event. The effectiveness of attending these events should be evaluated regularly, and strategies adjusted as needed to make the most of these opportunities.Develop diverse associates into partners. • Focus on mid-level associates and address any partnership concerns now. • Have an open dialogue about chances of the diverse associate making partner and how one might do it with firm support. • If the diverse associate needs assistance in a particular area, consider engaging the services of an expert/consultant to address issue head-on.Mentor diverse attorneys. • Two of the leading barriers to success are inadequate mentoring and the failure to identify and promptly address any work performance concerns. • Since many firms are structured and managed in such a way that partners can run their own individual practices, it is key that these partners—who control who works on matters for their clients and are protective of their client relationships—provide opportunities for diverse associates.
• It is common to hear from diverse attorneys who have been laid off at major firms that they believed they: o Could not make any mistakes at their firms (and therefore appeared less confident than they were) o Never received a fair chance to compete o Never really connected with anyone at the partner level • Some believe that law firms unfairly minimized their accomplishments and magnified their mistakes. These perceptions (accurate or not) are consistent with survey findings about why minority attorneys often leave law firms — a lack of mentoring.Avoid "tagging" the diverse associate. • Partners will not fully participate in a diversity plan if they perceive (correctly or not) that it may adversely affect their client relationships. For example, the diverse associate does a poor job and the client is upset. The partner believes that this will impact his/her client relationship, and refuses to use the diverse attorney on the next matter or any other matters. • When this occurs, questions can sometimes arise for other partners about the associates performance and word "gets out." Though this dynamic may, to some extent, exist for all associates, many diverse associates are concerned that once they have been "tagged" in this manner, it may be harder for them to get second opportunities to impress and to redeem themselves in the eyes of the partner or firm. • Diverse associates in this position sometimes believe they have no option other than to leave the firm and start over elsewhere. • What can be done about this? Law firms and law departments need to address how partners really feel about this issue as well as about training and mentoring minority attorneys.Improve the business knowledge of diverse attorneys. • The reality is that many minority attorneys may come from vastly different backgrounds than other associates, and are learning the law and business for the first time. It may take time to get up to speed.
• To overcome this obstacle, partners and firms can develop policies to bridge the training gap. The benefits are clear: a better work product enhances the value the firm brings to its clients, diverse associates feel like part of the team, and relationships among partners, associates and clients are strengthened. o Partners and associates should work together to generate the client work product. This training should continue until the associate is able to handle matters with little or no partner supervision. o The client and firm should agree to write off the partners billable time spent mentoring and teaching, and the associates billable hours incurred learning the clients business and substantive law. • Such write-offs should have no negative impact on partner compensation. Indeed, the firm should reward the partner for the mentoring and training. o Support the Boston Lawyers Groups IL Clerkship Program.
6/5/2012 Boston Bar Associations Diversity & Inclusion Section Conference The Future of Boston Law Firms in a Global Economy • Seaport Hotel Boston, MA June 5, 2012 by any measure rn CHOATE HALL & STEWART LLP choate.comCHOATE • Mark Roellig Executive Vice President and General Counsel. MassMutual Insurance Company • Rachael Rollins General Counsel, Mass Department of Transportation & MBTA • Sandra Yamate CEO, The Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession • Marc Firestone General Counsel. The Philip Morns Company Krish Gupta Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, EMC Corporation, and member of Board of Directors ACC-Northeast Macey Russell Partner. Choate Hall & Stewart LLPCHOATE HALL S STEWART LIR 2
6/5/2012CHOATE Boston Law Firm Diversity Numbers 2009 NALP Report - 35 Member Firms African Asian 2009 Hispanic LGBT Others American American Total Partners 1,907 (66) (3.46%) 17 (0.89%) 27 (1.42%) 13 (0.68%) Men (42) 15 10 10 Wotnen (24) (1.31%) 2 (0.10%) 17 (0.89%) 3 (0.16%) 20 Total Associates 2,278 (323) (14.22%) 60 (2.63%) 181 (7.95%) 55 (2.41%) 00 Men (142) 30 76 24 Women (181) (7.95%) 30 (1.32%) 105 (4.65%) 31 (1.36%) •not al firms repMms gendm spiral statistics 5CHOATE HALL 6 STEWART LLP CHOATE Boston Law Firm Diversity Numbers 2010 NALP Report - 35 Member Firms African Asian 2010 Hispanic LGBT Others American Amencan Total Partners 1,525 (59) (3.23%) 15 (0.82%) 30 (1.53%) 13 (0.71%) Men (37) 13 13 11 0 Women (22) (1.20%) 2 (0.11%) 17 (0.93%) 2 (0.11%) Total Associates 2,019 (301) (14.91%) 52 (2.58%) 166 (8.22%) 55 (2.72%) Men (128) 24 68 22 Women (173) (8.57%) 28 (1.39%) 98 (4.85%) 33 (1.62%)CHOATE HALL S. STEWART LLP 3
6/5/2012CHOATE Boston Law Firm Diversity Numbers 2011 NALP Report — 35 Member Firms African Mimi 2011 Hispanic LOOT Others American American Total Partners 1,775 (57) (3.21%) 14 (0.79%) 23 (1.30%) 16 (0.90%) (2.901, Men (39) 12 ID 14 Women (18)(1.01%) 2 (0.11%) 13 (0.73%) 2 (0.11%) Total Msociates 2,003 (300) (14.98%) 48 (2.40%) 178 (8.89%) 42 (2.10%) 32 Men (123) 24 67 20 12 Women (177) (13.84%) 24 (1.20%) 111 (5.54%) 22 (1.10%) 20CHOATE HALL & STEWART LLP 7 CHOATE "Meet the Boston Legal Industrys Newly Minted Partners" • Reports that Bostons major law firms made 68 new partners 3 of 68 can be identified as minorities. .eut.th,A — One African American Male One Asian American Male — One Middle Eastern Male Bosron Busmess Journal Repon April 3, 2012CHOATE HALL & STEWART LLP 4
6/5/2012CHOATE 2012 NALP Report — Diverse Partners by City 400 • • MIm 350 il 11 • • • • • • • • • • 1/0M Boston Chicago ew tor n PrennsoLos Angeles San Jose !Jinni Seattle 3.21% 5.89% 566% 8.10% 11.79% 12.19% 14.61% 23,91% 8,47% Diversity in Metropolitan Areas - 2010 Demographics — Racial/Ethnic 100% 75 50% t liii 25 7111111111 Boston Chicago Now York D.C.San Los San Jose Miami Seattle FrancHco Angeles Kinder Institute for Urban Research & Hobby Center for Study of Texas 2010,CHOATE HALL EL STEWART LLP Milken Institute Review Second Quarter 2012 9 CHOATE What Needs To Be Addressed • Training and Experience Opportunities: Not the Same • Minorities Must Be Better to Earn Respect and Opportunities • The Business Case for Diversity: Reality or Wishful Thinking? • Substantial Business Not Reaching Diverse Partners 10CHOATE HALL IL STEWART LLP 5
6/5/2012CHOATE How Much Business Diverse Partners Received From Corporations in 2009 Diverse Partners Revenue Breakdown by Business Received in 2009 Diverse Partners 66% 70% " $250,000 - $500,000 - $1,000,000 - 5500,000 $1,000,000 $5,000,000 60% African Americans 13 12 2 Native Americans 0 0 a 40 Asian Pacific 3 3 g 0 Americans 2° Hispanic/Latino 6 2 0 10° T otal 22 5 0% 47 o. PRISON $101pOn - $2SOSISKO00 - ISOOANI,000 - KOWA. than $1.000,000 From 2011 Institute (or Incrusron ;n the Legal Profession SurveyCHOATE HALL A STEWART LLP CHOATE What Needs To Be Addressed • Training and Experience Opportunities: Not the Same • Minorities Must Be Better to Earn Respect and Opportunities • The Business Case for Diversity: Reality or Wishful Thinking? • Substantial Business Not Reaching Diverse Partners • Diverse Partners Not Involved 12CHOATE HALL & STEWART LLP 6
6/5/2012 CHOATE Questions for the Audience • What role can or should the BBA play? • What role can or should ACC Northeast play? • What impact does diversity have on Boston business community? • What can individual attorneys do to make a difference? How will a lack of diversity at the partner level hurt Boston-based law firms? What can law firms do to prepare for an increased focus on diversity in law firm hiring decisions by Massachusetts companies?CHOATE HALL & STEWART LLP CHOATE Next Steps Leadership must come from corporate law departments and law firms. Diverse attorneys cannot do it alone Individual attorneys need to take action to network with and mentor Bostons diverse attorneysCHOATE HALL & STEWART LLP 14 7