Today was Day 1 of the ABA Presidential Summit on Diversity being held just outside Washington, DC. 

Recapping such a conference in a blog post is impossible; I won’t even begin to try.  But I thought I would pass along some thoughts from the conference’s Twitter feed.

So, in response to the question on "Why Have Diversity In Your Law Firm and Company?", here were some thoughts from the speakers:

  • For one, in order to understand and engaged with diverse clients
  • For another reason, some clients, like Wal-Mart, are also demanding it
  • Because research proves that a broader team with perspective comes up with better answers
  • Because minorities will become the majority by 2050; there is a business case and economic imperative to do so
  • For litigators, if you have broad perspective you can better convince a jury and understand their perspective

Time and again, speakers weren’t hesitant to say that there is a legitimate business rationale for having diversity being a top priority.  

What company was singled out by some for their successes and their advancement of a more inclusive workforce? In other words, what company has recognized the business case for diversity? Wal-Mart.  

The company continues to be held out as a model for their push to their suppliers and law firms to make diversity not only a priority, but a way of doing business. (You can read about their significant efforts at their website here.) And yet there are some who continue to claim that Wal-Mart is unfriendly to workers.  Go figure.  

But beyond the "Why", we also discussed the "how". In an upcoming post, I’ll recap some of the suggestions.  

Day 2 starts early on Saturday. You can continue to follow along at and enter the term "#abadiv".  Or, if you’d like, you can view all the conference materials online at the conference’s home page.