The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) and recruiter Major, Lindsey & Africa (MLA), have announced their annual legal benchmarking survey, which shows that 47% of companies have a formal strategy to improve their D&I.
Legal departments that track internal diversity
The report, which is a resource for in-house counsel to track, measure progress, and maintain a high-performing legal department, asked respondents about their D&I efforts for the first time this year.
The survey, which was conducted between March and May this year and covered 493 legal departments across 30 countries and various industries, found that while only 29% of companies track internal diversity, of those that do, 47% have a formal strategy to improve D&I in this area including “actionable measures and tangible consequences.”
The report also found that a vast majority of participants (74%) “specifically measure the diversity of the teams that handle their matters.” The findings also reveal the “extent to which legal departments analyse diversity within the firms they engage.” Out of this, 49% measured “matter leaders or responsible partners” while 25% looked at “promotions to partner”, and 22% analysed the “composition of leadership in the firm.”
Out of those that track outside counsel diversity, only a quarter reported having a formal strategy with “tangible consequences to improve the diversity metrics of the law firms they engage” compared to nearly half of those that track internal diversity.
Veta T. Richardson, president & CEO of ACC, said: “The ACC/MLA Law Department Management Benchmarking Report is a top-tier resource for the in-house counsel community to track and measure progress on numerous metrics. The report gives law department leaders a wealth of data for peer comparisons and benchmarking across various metrics to assess performance, results, and efficiency and take a data-driven approach to charting the legal, operational and managerial goals to be achieved.
“With nearly 500 legal departments participating in the study, there is sufficient depth of data for law departments to engage in custom benchmarking against a defined peer group using their preferred combination of characteristics, including industry, revenue, and geographic footprint. We are grateful for MLA’s partnership to support the ACC research team to bring such a valuable report to today’s law department leaders.”
Greg Richter, VP, Retained Search and Advisory Services for MLA, added: “Since its inception in 2019, this report sets the industry standard for structuring and maintaining a high-performance legal department. For the first time this year, we asked companies about their diversity and inclusion efforts, which is becoming an increasingly important metric within organisations.”
To view the survey results in full, click here.