Increasing diversity in the legal profession is a long-standing and important priority, not only for Microsoft but also for scores of law firms, legal departments, and law schools. Many individuals and groups have worked hard to advance diversity, but progress has come slowly. Microsoft decided it is important to add to existing initiatives by becoming more proactive itself. In July 2008, Microsoft launched a Law Firm Diversity Program for its Premier Preferred Provider law firms; this program uses a "pay for performance" approach to enhance diversity. In addition, Microsoft also launched several new activities to work in closer partnership with its leading law firms.
Since 2008, we have continuously worked with our law firm partners to refine the program to reflect the legal profession's diversity priorities and incentivize progress. This has included expanding the program's scope to include attorneys with disabilities and instituting an annual meeting between diversity leaders in LCA and our PPP firms to share best practices.
Below you will find materials outlining the creation of the program and its evolution.