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In 1999, Charles Morgan, then executive vice president and general counsel of BellSouth Corp., crafted and published a document commonly known as the Statement of Principle. The Statement was eventually signed by more than 500 general counsel and advocated the importance of diversity in the workplace both from a business perspective and because it is the right thing to do.

The Statement also served as notice to the law firms representing the signatory corporations that diversity would be an important consideration in the selection of outside counsel. The operative language in Morgan’s Statement of Principle as it relates to law firms reads as follows: “We expect the law firms which represent our companies to work actively to promote diversity within their workplace. In making our respective decisions concerning selection of outside counsel, we will give significant weight to a firm’s commitment and progress in this area.”

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