Pitch Session Network
The Pitch Session Network allows in-house counsel to connect with diverse law firm partners, diversify their service client portfolios and assist in holding law firms accountable for their diversity efforts. Member law firms and sponsors will have the ability to meet privately with in-house counsel to pitch the legal services they offer and develop meaningful connections with potential clients.
MCCA created the Pitch Session Network to address the lack of diversity at the equity partner-level in law firms. Our 2017 Vault/MCCA Survey report reveals that while law firms have become more diverse, the demographic shifts are both incremental and uneven. Minority representation at the partner level has increased by more than two percentage points since 2007, thanks to both higher promotion rates and an increase in lateral hiring. Even though, one in four law firm associates is a person of color, more than 90 percent of equity partners are white. Among women, the figures are especially stark: women of color represent 13 percent of associates but less than 3 percent of equity partners. Most recently, the ABA announced Resolution 113 to push for changes and MCCA remains hopeful with many of our members signing it in support. But, if history tells us anything, progress will come but slowly, which is why MCCA and committed general counsels started strategizing how we can encourage progress more strategically. The Pitch Session Network is a direct result of those discussions and our collective efforts to improve the number of diverse partners at those firms. As clients you have the power to change the numbers and hold law firms accountable.
MCCA cannot achieve more diversity at these large law firms without influential clients agreeing to meet and consider diverse outside counsel for new opportunities to amplify our message that diversity is important. We invite everyone, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, class, or status, who believe in the future of the legal industry to join forces. Equality is bigger than all of us. Together we must join forces to create a catalyst of change.
This program will help bring us one step closer to achieving our vision to “make the next generation of legal leaders as diverse as the world we live in” a reality.
The Pitch Session Network is held twice a year at our Creating Pathways to Diversity Conference and Global TEC Forum. Interested participants must complete the Pitch Session Network Application that is available as part of the MCCA Conference registration. Please refer to the Creating Pathways to Diversity Conference registration or Global TEC Forum registration for specific instructions.
Eligibility Criteria for Pitch Session Network Participants:
- Must be a confirmed registrant for an MCCA Conference. There is no additional cost to participate.
- Corporate Legal Departments:
- In-house counsel participants MUST have the authority or be in a position to hire outside counsel.
- Law Firms:
- Law firm participants MUST be either MCCA members, HNBA members, NAPABA members, or NBA members and CANNOT participate as a conference sponsor; and
- Law firm participants MUST be a diverse partner (MCCA’s definition of diversity includes gender, race/ethnicity, LGBTQ, veterans/service members and attorneys with disabilities).
- Legal Service Providers (non-law firms):
- Legal service providers MUST be an MCCA Conference sponsor in order to participate in the Pitch Session Network because they do not meet MCCA membership requirements.
- Corporate Legal Departments:
When and where will the Pitch Session Network take place?
The Pitch Session Network will take place during an MCCA Conference (Creating Pathways to Diversity Conference and Global TEC Forum). Please check the respective conference agenda for specific information on date, time, and location.
Who may participate in the Pitch Session Network?
- In-house counsel MUST have the authority to hire outside counsel.
- All law firm participants MUST:
- Be employees of law firms that are MCCA members (or pre-approved affiliate affinity organizations);
- Be a diverse partner (MCCA’s definition of diversity includes gender, race/ethnicity, LGBTQ, veterans/service member and attorneys with disabilities); and
- A confirmed registrant of an MCCA Conference (Creating Pathways to Diversity Conference or Global TEC Forum).
- Legal service vendors (non-law firms) MUST be an MCCA Conference Sponsor in order participate in the Pitch Session Network. (e.g. ABC Vendor is an MCCA Conference Sponsor for 2019 Global TEC Forum. ABC Vendor can only participate in the 2019 Global TEC Forum Pitch Session Network).
Please refer to the section “Eligibility Criteria for Pitch Session Network Participants” for specific information.
How are Pitch Session Network matches and selections made?
- Law firm applications that match the requirements of the participating corporate legal department(s) will be forwarded to each in-house counsel’s attention for their review.
- In-house counsel will then select which diverse law firm partner they are interested in meeting.
- Diverse law firm partners and in-house counsels will be provided a list of participating legal service vendors and a description of their services. Diverse law partners and in-house counsels will decide which legal service vendors they want to meet based on what services they are seeking.
May you bring other attorneys from the same MCCA Member Law Firm to participate in the Pitch Session meetings?
Law Firm partners may bring other attorneys from their MCCA Member Law Firm to the pitch session, ONLY IF ALL OF THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS HAVE BEEN MET:
- Each proposed accompanying attorney is a confirmed registrant of the same MCCA Conference;
- Each proposed accompanying attorney has completed the Pitch Session Network Application;
- Each proposed accompanying attorney must satisfy the eligibility requirements to participate in the Pitch Session Network;
- Each proposed accompanying attorney has the qualifications to meet the needs requested by the in-house counsel, and
- The in-house counsel taking the pitch consents to meeting with the proposed accompanying attorneys.
Am I guaranteed a slot to pitch?
Pitch Session Network meetings are NOT guaranteed.
Applications are carefully reviewed and are forwarded to in-house counsel for review if they match in-house counsel’s requirements. Please be aware that there could be many reasons why an application was not selected for a pitch session, such as:
- There was no need for the type of service being pitched;
- In-house counsel and/or law firm attorneys have very specific needs; and/or
- In-house counsel and/or law firm attorneys were already aware of the services provided and/or have any existing relationship for those specific services.
Due to confidentiality reasons and the volume of applications received, we do not provide information on why an application was not selected for a pitch session.
MCCA does not guarantee that the diverse law firm partner or legal service vendor that submits an application for the Pitch Session Network will be selected nor does MCCA guarantee that selection and participation in the Pitch Session Network will result in actual legal work.
Is there a cost to participate?
- There is no additional cost for MCCA Conference attendees to participate in the Pitch Session Network.
- Law firm attorneys interested in participating in the Pitch Session Network MUST satisfy the eligibility criteria and MUST be registered for an MCCA Conference.
- NOTE: When you register for an MCCA Conference, you are paying to attend the conference and not paying to take part in the Pitch Session Network.
- Legal service vendors (non-law firms) MUST be an MCCA Conference Sponsor to participate in the Pitch Session Network.
- For more information on sponsorship, click here.
What is the format for a Pitch Session Network meeting?
Each Pitch Session Network meeting will be 30 minutes. There will be a 5-minute warning before the end of each meeting and if you arrive late to your scheduled meeting time, the meeting will not be extended. The session schedule will be strictly adhered to in order to ensure everyone meets as scheduled.
MCCA reserves the right to:
- Determine the availability of diverse law firm attorneys and in-house counsel applicants;
- Limit the number of diverse law firm attorneys to the in-house counsel participant; and
- Make recommendations to participating in-house counsel.