Legal departments at companies such as Coca-Cola Co. are making more of an effort to ensure that outside vendors are living up to promises around diversity and inclusion. However, smaller in-house teams may still be in the nascent stages of that endeavor as they attempt to extract the necessary data from existing partners while also seeking out new, minority-owned legal providers whose services align with their business needs.

Veta Richardson, president and CEO of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), indicated that some departments may even be prepared to deploy financial incentives. “Over the past year, ACC has seen more companies and legal departments publicly declare their commitment to taking quantifiable steps to ensure diversity in their providers and vendors,” Richardson said via email. “We have seen some go so far as to outline specific monetary implications for vendors who fail to meet these goals. ACC encourages all law departments to be proactive about their expectations and measure progress in order to bring lasting change. Commitment without action is a failure in leadership.”

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