July 8, 2005

Diversity for Quality and Profit

Ted Frank sends in an update to our previous post about WM requiring detailed plans from its law firms for greater diversity.

The update includes much jucier anecdotal information, insisting that many law firms don't want Wal-Mart's business because of the low, formerly always flat, fees that WM demands of its representation, and because WM refuses to settle (think how lawyers can benefit from settling), and is perfectly willing to dump law firms in the middle of complex trials.

One fascinating part of the article insists that the change will increase quality and decrease cost:

Reeves said the move for greater diversity is part of the company's strategy to get cheaper and better legal representation.

"It's not a separate issue," he said. "The more diversity you can have with your counsel � the higher-quality work you're going to get."

Um, does this mean that law firms plan to pay minorities and women less for better work than it can get for white men? What else can it mean?

Posted by Kevin on July, 8 2005 at 08:57 AM