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Bring your key firms together at a conference to build momentum for change

Last spring, Pfizer hosted a Diversity Summit for members of its Pfizer Partnership Program of outside counsel. As described by a Pfizer lawyer in 8-K, Vol. 4, Fall 2008 at 18, “We had an open, engaging discussion regarding the retention and advancement of minority and women lawyers and firms. Firms shared best practices and we presented the Pfizer Diversity Award to two firms.”

All law departments can adopt and massage this technique: invite the relationship partners from your primary firms to a gathering where you introduce, explore, and amplify changes (See my post of Dec. 3, 2005: Wal-Mart used conference of firm to announce diversity efforts; and Feb. 21, 2008: Sainsbury conference; June 19, 2006: another discussion of a law firm gathering; and Dec. 10, 2007: suggestions on conferences for firms.).