Joel A. Stern
847 812 4260
An Open Letter to General Counsels,
The National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF) commends many of you for taking a strong stand against the lack of true diversity and inclusion in “Big Law” and demanding that law firms either improve on diversity or lose business. It is imperative that the buyers of legal services not only make this clear to law firms with strong words, but also with actions. Thank you!
NAMWOLF is a non-profit trade organization of over 195 minority and women owned law firms, in 44 states, with the mission of enhancing diversity and inclusion in the legal profession by fostering successful relationships among our law firms and private and public entities. All of our firms have gone through an onerous vetting process to ensure they can handle your complex legal needs. Many of our members provide services to your industries. In addition, all of our firms are already providing legal services to Fortune listed companies.
Our “call to action” to all General Counsels is simple. We want all of you to learn more about NAMWOLF, our firms and the hundreds of in-house legal departments that are already engaging our firms. On our website, at https://namwolf.org/law-firm-members/, you can search for these law firms by the state, city, and even practice area.
In addition to demanding meaningful action by your current law firms, we urge all of you to advocate, within your respective legal departments and to other corporate legal groups, the importance of legal supplier diversity, i.e., hiring highly skilled minority and women owned law firms for your legal work. There are hundreds of these law firms across the U.S. These attorneys have come together with a wide variety of individual experiences, including “Big Law.” They left those firms for many reasons, including the fact that many of these firms have had no lasting success with diversity and inclusion.
Corporations with “Best in Class” in-house legal diversity and inclusion programs understand the importance of looking at legal diversity and inclusion in a holistic manner. To that end, we ask you to consider the fact that NAMWOLF member firms are just the highly skilled firms that already meet all of your diversity and inclusion expectations. These firms simply seek the opportunity to compete for and win your business. If it would be helpful to you, NAMWOLF can assist in establishing formal programs to give these firms every opportunity to showcase their qualifications, experience and talents.
NAMWOLF offers all corporate legal groups the opportunity to actually start solving the challenges of our profession with respect to diversity and inclusion, while at the same time getting the high quality of legal services you demand. It’s a compelling value proposition.
Joel A. Stern