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General Motors drives the use of minority and women lawyers on its matters, with targets

“For its law firms, GM sets a target of 20 percent minority lawyers and 33 percent women lawyers of the total number of lawyers working on GM matters per firm it hires.” This quote comes from InsideCounsel, July 2008 at 60, but it leaves me puzzled as to what exactly GM requires of its firms.

Assume a law firm handles ten matters for GM during a year. Does it count all the lawyers who billed time on all those matters during the year and check to see whether 20 percent were minority and 33 percent were women? If so, wouldn’t a more meaningful measure look at the percentages of hours billed by members of those groups?

Or does GM look at each matter and check for the percentage of diverse lawyers recording time? That would be a harder hurdle for firms to clear.

If a minority woman lawyer works on a matter, can her work – whether hours or simply involvement – count toward satisfying both tests? Or are the categories of minority and female exclusive?

The same article points out that GM has partnered with its six top law firms to have in-house counsel mentor women and minority lawyers at the law firm who are working on GM matters.