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Some history about efforts by legal departments to encourage use of diversity lawyers in firms

This blog has covered the Call to Action of Rick Palmore (See my post of March 26, 2006: Palmore letter.). A chapter in Laura Empson, ed., Managing The Modern Law Firm: New Challenges New Perspectives (Oxford Univ. Press 2007) at 47 (by David Wilkins) cites two earlier efforts aimed at the same end as well as several articles that describe them.

“[T]here were two other initiatives by corporate counsel designed to press law firms to hire and promote more minority lawyers: a letter from the general counsel of Ford Motors in 1987 that was endorsed by dozens of major corporations and the American Bar Association, and a letter in 1996 from the general counsel of Bell South that was eventually signed by over 350 companies.”

Wilkins describes the two earlier initiatives and summarizes their effect: “neither produced lasting change” (See my post of July 17, 2007: why hasn’t the Call to Action achieved more.).