Companies Spend More than $225 Million in 2016 on Minority- and Women-Owned Law Firms

The Inclusion Initiative, a collaborative program among law departments
at major corporations across the country, announced today that member
companies spent over $226 million in 2016 with minority- and women-owned
(MWBE) law firms.

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In the initial year of the Inclusion Initiative, members together spent
$42 million with MWBE law firms. Since then, the total amount of money
participating law departments have spent on MWBE firms has grown
significantly and has exceeded $200 million every year since 2012, as
illustrated in the chart.

Over the life of the program, the participating companies have generated
over $1.24 billion in expenditures on minority and women owned law firms.

“The Inclusion Initiative is a significant success story in the movement
to build and sustain diversity and inclusion in the legal profession,”
said Rick Meade, Vice President and Chief Legal Officer for
International Businesses at Prudential Financial, Inc. and Chairperson
of the Inclusion Initiative. “The commitment made by the participating
companies to support MWBE law firms has proven to be meaningful and
sustained, enabling many of our target firms to thrive in an
increasingly competitive market.”

In 2010, the law departments at 11 large corporations spanning various
industries launched the Inclusion Initiative to help increase diversity
in the legal profession. At the heart of the Initiative is the belief
that MWBE firms play a vital role in providing opportunity to diverse
attorneys, and excellent, cost effective legal services that meet the
needs of corporate America. Inclusion Initiative members believe that
MWBE firms provide a reliable pathway into the legal profession for law
students and young lawyers of diverse backgrounds and an attractive
career path for experienced diverse attorneys who seek an alternative to
majority-owned law firms.

Participation in the Inclusion Initiative has nearly tripled to 32
members since its founding in 2010. The current roster of participating
companies includes: 3M, Accenture, Allstate, American Airlines, AT&T,
Bank of America, The Coca-Cola Company, Comcast, Exelon, Federal Deposit
Insurance Corporation, General Mills, GlaxoSmithKline, Google, JPMorgan
Chase, McDonald’s Corporation, Macy’s, Merck, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley,
Nationwide, NBCUniversal, Prudential Financial, Sempra Energy, Shell Oil
Company, State Farm, Target, Toyota Financial Services, UPS, Verizon,
Walmart, Wells Fargo, and Xerox.

In 2016, the Inclusion Initiative welcomed State Farm to its ranks.
“Through the Inclusion Initiative, we are proud to join with other
leading companies from across the country in giving voice to these
important principles and in helping to increase diversity in the legal
profession,” said Steve McManus, Senior Vice President and General
Counsel, State Farm.

And, in 2017, Target and Toyota Financial Services joined the group. “At
Target, we believe that diversity and inclusion make teams better. We’re
committed across every part of our business, including our legal team,
to working with diverse partners and suppliers,” said Don Liu, Executive
Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary, Target.
“I’ve worked with the Inclusion Initiative for a number of years and
have been impressed by their work in bringing organizations together
around a shared commitment to increasing spending with minority-owned
law firms. With Target as the newest member, we’re proud to reaffirm our
commitment to building and working with diverse teams.”

“Diversity and Inclusion are crucial parts of Toyota Financial Services’
core values, embraced by every aspect of our business, including the
legal team,” said Katherine Adkins, Toyota Financial Services Group Vice
President, General Counsel, and Secretary. “We’ve learned firsthand that
engaging lawyers at minority and women-owned law firms not only furthers
our goal of having a diverse supplier base, it also makes good business
sense. Toyota Financial Services is committed to sending more high-level
legal work to NAMWOLF firms, enhancing our relationships with these
firms, and providing them with further exposure to the business needs of
our company.”

The Inclusion Initiative is administered by the National Association of
Minority and Women Owned Law firms (NAMWOLF), which comprises 172
certified MWBE law firms in 42 states. “Corporate members of the
Inclusion Initiative are a testament to the adage of putting thought
into action, said William Delgado, Inclusion Initiative Task Force
Co-Chair and Board Member of NAMWOLF. “The commitment exhibited by each
company helps ensure the success of minority- and women-owned law firms
and furthers the important mission of diversifying the legal profession.
NAMWOLF is excited about its continued collaboration with the Inclusion
Initiative for years to come.”

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