The Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) has named Toyota Legal One, the legal department of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., the 2013 Employer of Choice Award winner for the Western Region. Toyota Legal One (TL1) considers diversity to be a fundamental part of its business practice. Diversity is incorporated into internal and external hiring and the selection and retention of outside counsel and other business partners. Managers and supervisors are evaluated for their success in furthering diversity and inclusion. TL1 also seeks to impact the next generation of lawyers by providing intern programs and scholarships for minority law students, and supporting career days held by legal associations and seminars at minority law schools.
“Being recognized as Employer of Choice by the MCCA is a true honor, one that I know will inspire the ongoing efforts of the Toyota Legal One team to promote diversity and inclusion in everything we do,” said Christopher P. Reynolds, group vice president and general counsel, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A, and chief legal officer, Toyota Motor North America. “Our commitment to growing and empowering a diverse workforce in an environment of equal opportunity is not just rooted in Toyota’s guiding principles, it also helps ensure we have the best and the brightest contributing their full potential to meet the needs of our customers.”
For the Northeast Region, MCCA has named the law department of Aetna as its 2013 Employer of Choice Award winner. Aetna recognizes the importance of diversity in all aspects of the company’s business. The law department takes every opportunity to identify and interview women and diverse attorneys for open positions, with the result that they comprise about 70 percent of Aetna’s attorneys. Aetna incorporates supplier diversity processes into purchases of goods and services, including utilizing minority- and women-owned law firms. The law department also sets supplier diversity goals, and has exceeded its goals for the last three years.
“We are honored to be recognized by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association,” said William J. Casazza, senior vice president and general counsel for Aetna. “Our goal is to deliver world-class service for our customers. To do that, our employees and suppliers must be a part of the communities we serve.”
The Law and Employee and the Labor Relations teams of Target Corporation have been named MCCA’s 2013 Employer of Choice Award winners for the Midwest Region. Diversity and inclusion are part of Target’s culture, and they are incorporated into every area of the company, including its attorney ranks. Target uses intentional development plans for its diverse legal talent, including having diverse attorneys serve as both mentors and mentees within the organization. In 2012, MCCA honored Target with a Diversity Innovator award for a scorecard process designed to recognize and reward outside counsel for actionable commitment to enhancing opportunities for diverse attorneys. Target also recently launched its 1L Diversity Mock Interview Program, in which over 30 diverse first-year law students from all four Minnesota law schools participated in a half-day of best practice training, feedback sessions and mock interviews at Target. In 2013, Target will launch its Target Diversity in Law Scholarship Program.
“At Target, our team is our greatest competitive advantage, and by fostering diversity and inclusion across our business, we benefit our team members, guests, shareholders and communities," said Tim Baer, executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary for Target. “We’re honored to be recognized by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association for something that’s so key to our success.”
Toyota, Aetna and Target were selected out of all the law departments of corporations across their respective regions for demonstrating a commitment to diversity and creating and maintaining an inclusive workplace. They and two other regional winners will be honored at MCCA’s Diversity Honors Gala at Lincoln Center in New York City on September 17. The evening will begin with a red carpet reception followed by the awards program in the Starr Theater that combines honors with entertainment, ending with an elegant VIP Reception in Alice Tully Hall. MCCA will also present the George B. Vashon Innovator Award to corporate legal departments and law firms or legal associations that implement outstanding diversity programs. During the reception, one individual will be honored with MCCA’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.