An interview in GC Mid-Atlantic, March 2006 at 22, of Sarah Lee’s general counsel, Roderick Palmore, gives background on his 2004 letter urging law departments to take action on law-firm diversity. As noted (See my post of March 17, 2006 on diversity efforts.), more than 100 companies have co-signed Palmore’s letter. With that kind of support, what kind of answer would you think Palmore gave to the reporter’s questions, “How do you gauge diversity? How can you tell if a firm isn’t measuring up?”
Oddly, he answered: “I think that’s a next-step question. It’s a little early in the process to talk about how [diversity] gets implemented and how it gets measured.”
After more than a year, and considerable publicity, the advocates of diversity in law firms don’t know how to measure it? Yet Palmore continued, saying “the next true step, in my judgment is to talk about best practices…” How can anyone identify a best practice if they cannot measure and define it or know how diversity gets implemented?