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Friday, August 7, 2015

Microsoft Revamps Its “Law Firm Diversity Program”

Microsoft, one of DiversityWorking's long-standing diversity partners, has revamped its “Law Firm Diversity Program” in a move to improve the representation of minority lawyers in the leadership ranks of law firms it deals with.

The company’s Law Firm Diversity Program has been changed to offer bonuses to 15 law firms it works with, based on how many attorneys in positions of power are female, from racial and ethnic minorities, openly LGBT, people with disabilities or military veterans. Microsoft started the program 7 years ago and originally offered firms a 2 percent bonus on their billings if a set percentage of the hours they billed to the company were worked by diverse attorneys. - Read more at:

We felt this would be a way for the most senior leaders of law firms and law departments to exercise tone at the top on diversity, not only with words but with actions,” says Mary Snapp, Microsoft’s deputy general counsel and executive sponsor of the legal and corporate affairs diversity and inclusion team. “This has been a natural evolution of a very successful program, yet one that I think takes a big, significant next step.”
Microsoft’s hope is that the original version of its law firm diversity program will continue to bear fruit and that the new approach will have a direct impact on the profile of law firm leadership over the next three to five years. - Read more at:

Microsoft has always been a staunch advocate of diversity and inclusion. Part of its announcement of its new incentivized diversity program reads,
As we look back at our experience, we believe that diversity has made us stronger.[...]we believe that diverse people and perspectives, both at these firms and among our in-house ranks, have made us more creative and helped us better understand legislators, regulators and customers around the world.”

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