Ever heard of the CLOC? The Corporate Legal Operations Consortium is a non-profit organization on a mission to optimize legal service delivery models and create a seamless legal ecosystem that delivers corporate legal support to small, medium, and large businesses with efficiency.
In the last two years, the CLOC has grown from a 40-person committee to an organization comprised of 1300 legal professionals representing 40 states, 37 countries, and five continents.
Since its inception, the CLOC has stressed the role that diversity and inclusion plays in the delivery of legal services. They regularly collect metrics on various trends throughout the profession. In fact, in March, they released a diversity report that paints a picture of America’s corporate legal departments.
The CLOC surveyed 207 different corporate legal departments across the United States. The corporations surveyed hail from a variety of industries, including technology, financial services, manufacturing, entertainment, media, energy/utilities, and more.
The study – Legal Department Diversity – found that in-house legal departments across the country are taking steps today to create a more inclusive legal profession for tomorrow.
According to the diversity report, 28% of legal departments surveyed have established diversity programs. In addition, respondents are beginning to make conscientious hiring decisions based on diversity.
When hiring full-time employees in their organizations, 44% of legal departments consider diversity. Externally corporate legal departments seek diversity too. 35% of respondents said that they make outside counsel hiring decisions based on diversity.
The CLOC also found that 30% of corporate legal departments collect their own data on diversity.
When considering gender diversity of the entire staff of legal departments, the numbers are split. 43% of the employees are male and 57% are female. However, racial diversity in these departments is still predominantly composed of white employees (69%).
These numbers show that there is most certainly room for improvement. But, it’s clear there are efforts being made in corporate legal departments to create change.
As our Diversity and Education Director, Michelle Silverthorn has written before this work takes time. We hope that these efforts continue to gain traction and transform the legal workplace.