Diversity in the Legal Profession
Hinton Lucas, Assistant General Counsel for DuPont speak on the “Call to Action” in many corporations and law firms in the United States.
We talked about the Call to Action in the United States starting out and around the year 2004, even prior to that time many corporations and law firms were doing an awful lot of work in this particular area in this arena. But as a Call to Action has demonstrated there is so much more that needs to be done. In our company, we are committed to diversity and to inclusion. If you will take a look at in the United States, the question was asked, we talked about affirmative action, we have evolved from affirmative action to the word diversity to now most people use the terms more and more of inclusion.
It was mentioned earlier, that we are talking more about just minorities, we are talking about all kinds of different inclusion by having a breath of input, and breath of knowledge of all people you do get a better product. Now we know that any advances in this particular area that all of us have been working on for years and years, are incremental at best. We talked about the standpoint of the business case and we have all mentioned that it is very difficult to measure. And I will tell you being a member of a science company, DuPont we have just celebrated our 206th year in existence and that’s a long time I know, we have attempted to take advantage of the diversity on a world wide basis.
The DuPont company as I have mentioned, as we have celebrations our 206th anniversary, and over the last two decades, of the 20th century, enormous demographic change have swept the United States. With minorities becoming the fastest growing segment of the population, and somewhat acan to that currently women make up over 50%, plus of all the law school graduates in the United States, so we start to talk about what happens to all these law school graduates but the demographics folks are changing. DuPont embraced the changes over the last couple of decades of the 20th Century, to focus on diversity and people as a core value for our company.
From DuPont’s prospective, to continue to be globally competitive our company must have and employee base that is as diverse as the customer that buys our products, the shareholder who buys our stock and the vendor that supplies us with goods and services and by all means the communities in which we operate. The business case that we have mentioned in fact have normally comes at you this way, an attorney asks you the question and said “I know that it may be the right thing to do, but please tell me Lucas why is so important to your company and why should it be important to my firm.”
Now instead of me just basically saying “Are you kidding, I don’t believe that you asked that question,” we take it positive look at this and say ”alright, let’s talk about this”. And as I have mentioned, the member of the law department of a science company, I know that there are very few empirical
studies that basically make the business case.
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