July 06, 2005

WM: Law Firms Must Be Diverse at the Top

Via Ted Frank, Wal-Mart will require the law firms it uses to demonstrate that minorities and women are in high ranking positions:

Wal-Mart's move, sent in a letter to outside counsel last month, upped the ante.

Once the retailing giant gets lists of attorneys from its outside firms, due in mid-July, it will start weeding accordingly, Mars said. "We'll be making more decisions to retain and terminate firms [at that point]," he said.

"We are terminating a firm right now strictly because of their inability to grasp our diversity expectations," he added.


Wal-Mart's new policy signals a growing determination by corporate legal departments to pressure outside counsel. It is no longer enough, the general counsel at the symposium said, to raise the numbers of women and minority lawyers in a firm's lower ranks if its upper echelons remain an exclusive club for white men.

The entire article is a must read.

Posted by Kevin on July, 6 2005 at 08:33 AM | TrackBack

Comments & Trackbacks
Steve Lee wrote:

I picked up on an interesting piece of Wal-Martriva yesterday. The WM is installing new "smart system" time clocks at some locations. I am assuming that recently-opened SuperCenters have this system in place. If this system works as I think the name implys it would be interesting to read Wal-Marters reactions to their experiences with it.
WM finally opened a store in South-West Los Angeles but in ads in the local paper gave the location as "Torrance" which has higher income Zipcodes. The Store is not a SC, no food sales, which allowed it to be approved by the city.
Since Wal-Mart does not advertise, I don't see any articles featuring it's success in the future.

-- July 6, 2005 01:57 PM

Kevin Brancato wrote:

This is the first I've heard of it, so I did some digging. In 2004, SMART already gained the ire of some employees, although the recent comments are much more amusing. Others think something fishy is going on...

-- July 6, 2005 02:41 PM

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