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MCCA Survey: Number of Minority General Counsel at Fortune 500 Companies Reaches New High
Growth Resumes After One-Year Pause

 

MCCA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 23, 2012


 

Contact:
Diane Nowak-Waring
Court Blatchford
410-626-0805
mediarelations@mcca.com


MCCA Survey: Number of Minority General Counsel at
Fortune 500 Companies Reaches New High
Growth Resumes After One-Year Pause

WASHINGTON – The number of minorities serving as general counsel at Fortune 500 companies reached an all-time high in 2011, according to a new survey by  The Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA). The increase followed a one-year pause in 2010 when no new minorities joined the ranks of top counsel.

MCCA’s annual Survey of Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 Women and Minority General Counsel shows that 47 minorities now serve as Fortune 500 general counsel, four more than in 2010. At 9.4 percent of the total, this is the most minorities ever to serve in the post. Other survey highlights include:

  • Of the 47 minority general counsel at Fortune 500 firms, 28 are African American, 11 are Asian American, six are Hispanic, and one each is from the Middle East and from Armenia.
     
  • The number of minority men held steady at 28, so the increase of four was all women. This continues a trend which has seen the number of minority women more than double from eight in 2008 to 19 in 2011.
     
  • At the Fortune 250 level, 26 companies were represented by minority general counsel, down one from 2010. There was also a decline among Fortune 1000 companies (those ranked 501-1,000), from 23 minorities in 2010 to 20 this past year.
     
  • Companies with minority general counsel were spread across the United States, but California led the way with nine, followed by Illinois with seven, New York and Florida with four each, and Texas with three. 

“The number of minority general counsel at Fortune 500 companies has been steadily increasing since 2008,” said Joseph K. West, MCCA President and CEO. “A tough economy and high unemployment have hit minorities particularly hard, but when solid growth and robust hiring return, we expect to see minorities continue their advance in the legal departments of the nation’s largest companies.” 

As it does each year, MCCA based its survey on Fortune magazine’s annual list of America’s largest corporations, which was released in May.  MCCA then independently verified the race of each General Counsel. The full Survey of Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 Women and Minority General Counsel and accompanying analysis will appear in the September/October 2012 issue of Diversity & the Bar, MCCA’s bi-monthly publication, and will be available on the MCCA website, www.mcca.com.

The mission of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association is to advance the hiring, retention, and promotion of diverse attorneys in legal departments and the law firms that serve them. MCCA furthers its mission by publishing research on achieving diversity and best practices in the legal profession, honoring innovative diversity programs with its Employer of Choice and Thomas L. Sager awards, and assisting diverse law students through the Lloyd M. Johnson, Jr. Scholarship Program. MCCA’s work has been recognized with awards from the National Bar Association, the National Minority Business Council, Inc., the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National Gay and Lesbian Law Association, and the Association of Corporate Counsel. 

Founded in 1997, MCCA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and also has a Southeast regional office in Atlanta, Ga. For more information, go to mcca.com

 

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