When it comes to firms, I really look for three things. One, I hope the firm will become more diverse. Two, I expect to field each year a more diverse team of lawyers working on Microsoft matters. And three, we look to have more diverse people assume leadership roles in law firms, and that includes women, ethnicities, people with disabilities or people who are members of the LGBT community. We really want to see diverse individuals assume stronger leadership roles, and that is something we increasingly are seeing. We have to keep focusing on moving forward. You can never rest on your laurels because so much work remains to be done.
Q. What other incentives do you use to encourage the staffing of diverse attorneys on legal matters you outsource to outside counsel?
A: Another program is a mentorship program with Davis Wright Tremaine in Seattle, which combines diverse in-house lawyers as mentors with young associates in the law firm. We've really looked for ways to cross the divide between law firm and client and engage in more collaborative work together. Another more concrete program is in the pro bono area, which is another area where we can pull together teams of lawyers who work in house with lawyers who work in firms and have them work in a different context together.
Q: Have you ever fired a law firm for not meeting diversity objectives?
A: As a company we have let firms go where their diversity has been a factor. What I have generally found is that simply by making it part of the bonus equation, law firms pay attention. And, personally, I think it's really helpful to have something that is more graduated than simply a hire or fire decision. But the truth is, if you put your money where your mouth is, people know what you care about, and law firms tend to do a good job of paying attention to what their clients care about.