Corporations Make Multi-Million Dollar Commitment to Minority and Women Owned Law Firms

Inclusion Initiative a model for corporate legal departments

Mar 04, 2010, 11:00 ET from Inclusion Initiative

WASHINGTON, March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Accenture, American Airlines, Comcast, DuPont, Exelon, General Mills, GlaxoSmithKline, Microsoft, Prudential, and other companies today announced their commitment to collectively spend $30 million with minority and women owned (MWBE) law firms in 2010 and have created the Inclusion Initiative to challenge other companies to follow their lead.

"A study commissioned by DuPont found a marked drop since the late 1980s in the number of successful minority owned law firms serving corporate America," said Thomas L. Sager, Senior Vice President and General Counsel at DuPont. "The mission of the Inclusion Initiative is to put more MWBE law firms on a path towards growth and prosperity, and to provide greater opportunities for diverse lawyers."

Susan L. Blount, Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Prudential, said, "Commitment to diversity starts at the top. The companies who have joined together to form the Inclusion Initiative are excited to be part of the solution to the diversity challenge in the legal profession. The Inclusion Initiative will help others realize that some of the best lawyers in the profession are at MWBE firms and these law firms offer cost-effective, high-quality, and creative legal services."

The Inclusion Initiative companies will work closely with the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF) to identify best practices for major corporations to maximize relationships with high quality minority and women owned law firms throughout the United States.

"The companies of the Inclusion Initiative and their general counsels are proven leaders on the issue of diversity in the legal profession," said Richard Amador, Inclusion Initiative task force chair for NAMWOLF. "Their collaboration will provide a successful model demonstrating that law department leadership, tracking and support for utilizing highly-qualified MWBE firms can reap significant benefits for both the companies and the MWBE firms."

The Inclusion Initiative is administered by NAMWOLF, which is comprised of certified MWBE law firms and dedicated to increasing the utilization of MWBE law firms by corporate legal departments. www.namwolf.org.

SOURCE Inclusion Initiative



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