Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) has released the findings of its Sixth Annual General Counsel Survey of Fortune 500 companies. Since 1997, MCCA has looked at diversity in corporate law departments across the nation, with a special emphasis on the advancement of attorneys of color.
The findings of the 2004 MCCA Fortune 500 General Counsel Survey are:
In 2004, 26 or 5.2 percent of Fortune 500 general counsel are minorities.This is an increase from 23 since the first MCCA Fortune 500 General Counsel survey conducted in 1996.
Among the 2004 group of minority general counsel, 21 are African American, three are Hispanic and two are Asian/Pacific Islanders.
Twenty-two (22) of the 26 minority general counsels in the Fortune 500 were appointed in the last six years.
Seventy-three percent (73%) of the 26 minority general counsel attended a Top 20 law school.This statistic demonstrates that a high premium is still placed on students from top-tier law schools, particularly in the case of attorneys of color.
According to the Association of Corporate Counsel's 2001 Census of U.S. Counsel, the legal profession is 87.5 percent white, while the United States Census Bureau data indicates 30 percent of the U.S. population is made up of people of color.