As diversity, equity, and inclusion becomes an increasingly important aspect of the larger Environmental Social, and Governance (ESG) movement, ACC Foundation and Justice Bid are delivering a unique resource that provides in-house counsel with best practices to engage outside counsel on DEI matters, while providing a snapshot of the current state of law firm diversity.
Washington D.C. – The Association of Corporate Counsel Foundation (ACCF) has partnered with Justice Bid, a leading outside counsel selection and diversity analytics company, to provide law departments with tools to evaluate and advance outside counsel DEI practices using diversity data, with the goal of advancing DEI within the legal community.
ACCF and Justice Bid today released a first-of-its-kind report titled “Advancing DEI Strategy with Actionable Law Firm Diversity Data: An In-house Legal Resource.” The report was prepared by the Research team at the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) using aggregated data provided by Justice Bid to showcase legal industry DEI data, for over 50,000 lawyers among 224 self-reporting law firms on the Justice Bid platform (at the time of this press release, Justice Bid has 260+ participating firms), allowing law departments to benchmark their law firms. In addition to offering a snapshot of the current state of law firm diversity, the report also provides in-house counsel with best practices from industry-leading companies on how they are engaging their outside counsel on DEI matters.
The ACCF-Justice Bid partnership also gives law departments the ability to leverage Justice Bid's diversity analytics technology. Diversity data is a foundational component of the ACCF’s DEI Maturity Model at each of the three levels of maturity – early, intermediate, and advanced, and a critical component of the ACCF’s Assessment Tool. Yet, the diversity data piece of the equation has proven to be a significant struggle for law departments. Justice Bid has reimagined the entire diversity data tracking of law firms and other suppliers, resulting in the most powerful data set in the market that helps law departments, for the first time, get the intersectional diversity data needed to collaborate with their firms and make meaningful progress across multiple underrepresented groups.
“In-house counsel are at the forefront of advancing DEI internally at their organizations and externally with the outside counsel and vendors they use,” said Jennifer Chen, executive director of ACCF. “The DEI Assessment Tool, powered by Ethisphere and based on ACCF’s DEI Maturity Model, was a first step to help law departments assess and advance their internal DEI strategy. Now, we are proud to have partnered with Justice Bid to offer additional insights.”
The analysis of Justice Bid data was led by Blake Garcia, PhD, ACC’s senior director of business intelligence and ACCF Board member, who added, “My team was pleased to play a role to couple law department best practices with use of Justice Bid’s diversity data so that law departments can set baselines and expand DEI practices with their outside counsel. The combination of the DEI Assessment Tool and this report provides in-house counsel with a powerful suite of resources to help advance DEI within the legal community.”
Justice Bid’s technology provides diversity data on law firms at large, on client-specific matters, and on tier 1 and tier 2 vendors, taking away the need to collect, analyze, compare, visualize, score, and action diversity data. As with the ACCF’s Maturity Model and Assessment, Justice Bid also makes its firmwide diversity dashboard free and open to all law departments. Together, they hope to remove any barriers for organizations seeking to advance their DEI objectives.
“We are excited to partner with the ACCF who is leading the way in creating a comprehensive toolkit for accelerating DEI like no other organization in the legal industry. As Justice Bid continues to redefine how law departments use diversity data to select outside counsel, we are proud to be part of the ACCF’s mission of creating turnkey solutions for law departments to quickly stand up, advance, and mature diversity programs with our joint report and diversity analytics solution,” says Omar Sweiss, Founder & CEO of Justice Bid.
The partnership is a significant step in the ACCF transforming the legal industry by offering guidance and innovative solutions to accelerate DEI progress. Law departments can leverage data analytics and best practices to engage outside counsel effectively and make strategic decisions that align with their diversity goals.
As for the data ACC reviewed for this report, Justice Bid aggregated all such data before providing it to ACC and removed all references to specific law firms (i.e., no underlying data was provided to ACC).
Download the full report here.
About the ACC Foundation: The ACC Foundation – a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization – supports the efforts of the Association of Corporate Counsel, serving the needs of the in-house bar through research, leadership and professional development opportunities, and support of diversity and pro-bono initiatives. The ACC Foundation partners with corporations, law firms, legal service providers, and bar associations to assist in the furtherance of these goals. For more information, visit www.acc-foundation.com.
About JB: Justice Bid, headquartered in Chicago, is a minority-owned diversity analytics and RFP/e-auction company that increases the transparency, value, and impact of outside counsel selection. Corporate legal departments rely on Justice Bid for all types of outside counsel selection scenarios – panel refreshes, AFAs (e.g., time-based, fixed-fees, etc.), consolidations, rate reviews, matter-level RFPs, etc. Justice Bid’s platform is powered by data-driven insights that bring the selection of outside counsel into the fold of procurement best-practices, thereby ensuring corporate legal departments obtain better matter outcomes, increase diversity on their matters, control costs, and simplify processes.
About ACC: The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is the premier global legal association that promotes the common professional and business interests of in-house counsel who work for corporations, associations and other organizations through information, education, networking, and advocacy. For more than 40 years, ACC has set the standard for in-house counsel and raised awareness regarding the value of the chief legal officer in the C-suite and boardroom. With more than 45,000 members employed by over 10,000 organizations and spanning 100+ nations, ACC connects its members to the people and resources necessary for both personal and professional growth. By in-house counsel, for in-house counsel® remains the foundation for ACC’s market leadership. For more information, visit www.acc.com and follow ACC on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.