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Public sector experience as springboard for minority GCs of Fortune 500 companies

In 2005, “50 percent of the minority general counsel (current and recent) of Fortune 500 companies have public sector experience, particularly as federal prosecutors,” according to June Eichbaum, in Diversity & The Bar, Vol. 7, Sept./Oct. 2005. In contrast, the percentage with public sector experience for non-minority general counsel of Fortune 500 companies was much lower, at 14 percent. I assume that of the 466 majority GCs, other than the 65 with public sector stints on their resume, all made their way to the top through law firms or private sector law departments.

I noticed that 13 of the minority FF GCs – out of 34 — graduated an Ivy-league law school, and nine others graduated the law school of Boalt, Michigan, Chicago or Stanford. Did these minority lawyers, most of them possessed of stellar academic credentials, choose public service or did racial discrimination by firms and private sector law departments force them to the public sector?

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