The Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) has released the results of its annual diversity survey of Fortune 1000 legal leaders, and while the number have increased over last year, it could be better.

The results, released yesterday, show that 7.2 percent of Fortune 1000 chief legal officers are lawyers of color. Compared to the percentage of non-Caucasians in the U.S., which is 35 percent, that number fails to reflect the general population.

“This year’s survey results show positive steps,” Joseph K. West, MCCA President and CEO, said in a statement. “But not enough. We need to ensure that more diverse students are entering law school, graduating and succeeding at their legal careers, and progressing on to leadership roles in the profession.  MCCA continues its work towards this goal.”

Other survey results released include:

  • There are 48 general counsel of color in the Fortune 500, 29 men and 19 women, compared with 45 (27 men and 18 women) based on last year’s results. 
  • The race or ethnicity of these 48 are: 25 African Americans, 13 Asian Americans and 10 Hispanic Americans.
  • In the next tier of companies, the Fortune 501 to Fortune 1000, there are 24 additional diverse chief legal leaders, 17 men and seven women. There are 11 African Americans, eight Hispanic Americans and five Asian Americans in this group of 24.

MCCA conducts its survey using Fortune magazine’s list of largest companies then identifies and verifies the race and gender of those companies’ general counsel. The full survey of Fortune 1000 women and minority general counsel and accompanying analysis appears in the September/October 2013 issue of Diversity & the Bar, MCCA’s bi-monthly publication, and is on the MCCA’s site.

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