A straightforward way to encourage consciousness of diversity (Shell and Visa)

At one point, and probably even now, Shell Oil’s legal department required outside law firms to include on their bills the race and gender of each attorney who worked on its matters. According to a roundtable on diversity in California Lawyer, Oct. 2004 at 49, 52,the law department of Wells Fargo likewise required outside counsel to include that demographic information.

Guy Rounsaville, the former general counsel at Wells Fargo who initiated that bank’s policy, later moved to Visa International where he followed the same practice. Rounsaville said at the roundtable that his law department would go further: it would obtain diversity information on the lawyers who get credit for the work the firm does for Visa. Credit and origination fees point to the powerful partners at firms, the ones who can bring about diversity.

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