The legal departments of DuPont, General Motors, Sara Lee, Shell Oil, and Wal-Mart, five of America’s leading corporations, announced initiatives in 2005 to increase the amount of corporate legal work being sent out to minority-owned law firms.
These corporations were sparked into action by a DuPont Legal study, which revealed that the number of successful minority-owned law firms representing U.S. corporations has dwindled over the past 15 years.
The DuPont study entitled, Study on the Status of Minority-Owned Law Firms* identified problems that the initiatives are meant to address:
The five legal departments pledged to promote these initiatives and invite others in the corporate legal community to include more minority-owned law firms in the departments’ circles of firms to whom they send legal work.
These five legal departments had rosters of minority and women-owned firms to which they already sent legal work. However, many corporate legal departments are not aware of these firms or the solid legal work they are capable of handling.
In 2008, the resulting roster was developed into a website – www.minorityandwomenlawfirms.com
This web site includes dozens of minority and women-owned law firms across the U.S. employed by DuPont, Shell, or Wal-Mart and other corporate legal departments. The roster is organized alphabetically within each state’s listing. There is a brief description of the firm’s main practice areas or focus, and full contact information.