The IssueWomen, minority, LGBT, and disabled professionals continue to face barriers entering and advancing careers in the law. A 2013 study commissioned by Microsoft, Raising the Bar, confirmed the legal profession continues to lag behind other professions in diversity. We must improve diversity from law school through creating inclusive workplaces where diverse perspectives are valued.
Microsoft’s Diversity & Inclusion Strategy
Microsoft Corporate, External, and Legal Affairs (CELA) focuses on the pipeline from law school to advancement in the legal profession. We are committed to partnering with the legal community and holding ourselves accountable for diversity and inclusion progress. A few examples of our strategy include:
- In July 2008, Microsoft launched a Law Firm Diversity Program for its Premier Preferred Provider law firms; this program uses a collaborative, "pay for performance" approach to enhance diversity. Over the first six years of the program, the percentage of hours worked by diverse attorneys on Microsoft matters increased from 33.6% to 48.2%. In July 2015, Microsoft pivoted the program to focus on diversity in law firm leadership.
- Since 2005, Microsoft has contributed over $750,000 in law school scholarships to outstanding diverse students through the MCCA Lloyd M. Johnson Scholarship Fund, Council on Legal Education Opportunities, and other organizations.
- In 2013, Microsoft dedicated additional resources to building inclusiveness in our legal department, creating new teams
focused on attracting and retaining Veterans and
employees with disabilities, building communities for diverse employees, and strengthening cross-cultural fluency.