Orrick is a Founding Firm in an Unprecedented Collaboration to Improve Diversity & Inclusion in Law


The Move the Needle Fund is a five-year effort that will apply research-backed methods to drive meaningful change. We’re excited to collaborate with the Diversity Lab, 25+ forward-thinking corporate legal departments, our peer firms, and community leaders to innovate and make progress at Orrick and in our profession.

As our Chairman Mitch Zuklie puts it:

“At the same time that every organization takes a clear-eyed look at their own culture and practices, we need to drive systemic change together. The most exciting advances in the legal profession’s diversity and inclusion have come from collaboration among corporate legal departments, law firms and diversity thought leaders. We’ve seen this in the Diversity Lab’s Mansfield Rule, Hackathons and OnRamp Fellowship, the LCLD Fellowship and Pipeline programs, MCCA’s Pathways and Rising Leaders Programs, and numerous efforts driven by corporate legal departments, among other shining examples. We’re hopeful that the Move the Needle Fund will join this list. If the quality of the dialogue thus far is any indicator, the Diversity Lab is onto something – and we are grateful.”

Each of the five participating law firms is setting a unique goal. Ours is focused on working jointly with our clients to improve the diversity of our client teams as we improve the diversity of our firm:

Orrick will focus on ensuring that the firm’s talent from all backgrounds has opportunities to be trained for, pitch for, work substantively for, and have leadership opportunities with our most strategic client relationships. We will ensure that our relationships with an initial set of 40 such strategic clients reflect the firm’s diversity in both their leadership and composition. By 2025, this set of clients will be served by teams that are at a minimum 55% diverse. Today, half of these teams match or exceed that overall diversity (although there is room to improve the representation, specifically of women, lawyers of color, and/or LGBTQ+ lawyers on some of these teams and in their leadership); for the other half, it means we will seek to mirror that success as we grow the client relationship. We will also ensure that our diverse partners earn fair recognition and compensation credit for their role in serving and expanding the relationships with these clients. We will apply what we learn by working with these 40 clients to develop or expand relationships with additional clients in our core focus areas - the Tech & Innovation, Energy & Infrastructure and Finance sectors - who share our commitment to diversity.


We encourage you to learn more about the Move the Needle Fund by visiting the Diversity Lab website.


Press Release from the Diversity Lab

Legal Industry Trailblazers Launch “Move the Needle Fund” — with a $5M Investment from Law Firms — to Test Innovative Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives to Create Transformational Change in the Profession

San Francisco (September 18, 2019) – Launched today by Diversity Lab and several dozen legal industry leaders, the Move the Needle Fund (“MTN”) is the first collaborative effort designed and funded with $5M to test innovative initiatives to create a more diverse and inclusive legal profession.

Despite decades of hard work by industry stakeholders to diversify the talent pool from law students through law firm and legal department leadership, the needle hasn’t moved far enough fast enough. Knowing varied approaches are needed, five law firms, more than 25 general counsel, and top community leaders will work together through MTN to create a first-of-its-kind experimental “laboratory” in which bold new approaches will be incubated over five years in the law firms to serve as a model for learning and transformative change in the legal profession and beyond. These five firms will set aggressive, measurable diversity goals, experiment with research-based and data-driven ways to achieve them, and publicly report their progress.  

The first four MTN law firms are Eversheds Sutherland (US), Goodwin, Orrick, and Stoel Rives. To ensure an inclusive process for filling the fifth firm opening, law firms are invited to apply via a blind application and selection process through www.MTNFund2025.com. The MTN founding firm leaders and general counsel will choose the fifth firm based on the boldness of the interested firm’s diversity goal and their willingness to devote critical resources, experiment with new ideas, and share the outcomes. 

The MTN law firms’ goals, detailed on www.MTNFund2025.com, reflect many of the keys to success in becoming a more diverse and inclusive organization: retention of diverse lawyers; access to career-enhancing work experiences, clients, and sponsorship; and advancement to leadership. MTN will officially begin measuring progress on these goals in January 2020.

To achieve these goals and serve as a model for others to learn from, MTN will leverage the $5M investment made by the five firms to:

  • Explore and experiment with new approaches to hiring, work/life integration, work allocation, sponsorship, promotions, feedback, performance reviews, and compensation systems;
  • Implement the winning Diversity in Law Hackathon ideas;
  • Test evidence-based research such as the bias interrupters from the ABA and Minority Corporate Counsel Association study as well as other inclusion research from top academic institutions;
  • Crowdsource innovative ideas from other industries; and
  • Share outcomes through case studies and metrics on a public website.

The founding general counsel will support the firms’ goals and boost diversity in the profession by partnering on diversity internships and other law school pipeline initiatives, providing career-enhancing work and advancement opportunities to diverse outside counsel teams, and measuring their current and future outside counsel firms’ diversity and inclusion progress. In parallel, they will also experiment with and measure the impact of many of the innovative MTN efforts in their own legal departments.

“Instead of working in isolation as competitors, these pioneering law firms, general counsel, and community leaders are joining together to create a model that others can emulate leveraging collaboration, metrics, transparency, and experimentation as the foundational elements,” said Caren Ulrich Stacy, Diversity Lab CEO. “Predictive modeling – using the last five years of ALM data – suggests that the largest 200 firms in the country as a group won’t reach 50% women and 33% racial and ethnic minorities in their equity partner ranks – which would mirror the makeup of recent law school graduating classes – until 2057 and 2084, respectively. The goal of MTN is to reduce that timing by decades.”

The founding general counsel and legal departments supporting this effort include:

Lora D. Blum

SurveyMonkey Inc.

David Levine

Bloomberg LP

James L. Chosy

Bank holding company (U.S.)

Tom Lue


Ivan Fong

3M Company

Megha Parekh

Jacksonville Jaguars

Sonia Galindo

FLIR Systems, Inc.

Laura Quatela


Bradley M. Gayton

Ford Motor Company

Kim M. Rivera

HP Inc.

Rachel Gonzalez

Multinational coffeehouses chain

Allon Stabinsky

Multinational corporation and technology company (U.S.)

Hannah Gordon

San Francisco 49ers

Kristin Sverchek


Julie Gruber

Gap Inc.

Scott C. Taylor

Symantec Corporation

Marie Oh Huber


Louise Pentland


Gregory B. Jordan

PNC Financial Service Group

Amy Weaver


Jan Kang

Chronicle LLC

Tony West


Fleur Knowsley

Google Fiber

Scott Wilensky

An investor-owned utility

Doug Lankler


Rishi Varma

Hewlett Packard Enterprise


The MTN community leaders, listed below, are providing valuable insights and data, challenging norms, and supporting the firms and legal departments in achieving their goals.

  • Kit Chaskin, Gender Initiatives, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law (Community Leader Chair)
  • Jay Benegal, Senior Vice President, Legal Industry Specialist, Citizens Commercial Banking
  • Gabrielle Brown, Diversity & Inclusion Director, Morgan Stanley
  • Jamie Dolkas, Director of Women's Leadership, Center for WorkLife Law, UC Hastings
  • Carrie Fletcher, London Business School
  • Patrick Fuller, VP, Intelligence, American Lawyer Media
  • Jean Lee, CEO & President, Minority Corporate Counsel Association
  • Karen Royer, Executive Director, ChIPs
  • Dee Sekar, Diversity & Inclusion Manager, Chambers & Partners
  • Michelle Silverthorn, Founder, Inclusion Nation
  • Sandra Yamate, CEO, Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession

MTN will use a portion of the $5M to invest in collective projects – with the MTN organizations and other interested law firms and legal departments – focused on increasing diversity and inclusion in their respective organizations and in the profession. Some of the initial projects include:

MTN Pipeline Collective – To increase the pipeline of diverse junior lawyers in law firms and legal departments and to boost their chance of success once there, many of the MTN founding organizations and others have committed to annually providing paid, split summer internships – similar to the Law in Tech Collaborative started by eBay – to 100 diverse first-year law students from law schools typically underrepresented in law firms’ on-campus interview processes.

In addition, MTN will annually donate money and Diversity Lab’s in-kind services in excess of $100,000 to existing legal pipeline programs such as Pipeline to Practice, Silicon Valley Urban Debate League, Street Law, LCLD Pathways, MCCA 1L Scholarship, Twin Cities Diversity in Practice, Law in Tech 1L Collaborative, and other initiatives to strengthen and expand current successful efforts.

MTN Access to Opportunity Collective – The MTN founding legal departments – representing more than $1.5 billion in legal spend annually – have committed to providing diverse teams at law firms, with a special focus on the MTN firms, with the opportunity to be considered for new and expanded business. For diverse lawyers who work on or lead their cases, the legal department leaders will also provide sponsorship in the form of advocacy, feedback, and referrals.

MTN GC Diversity Dividends Collective – To wield their collective power, many of the MTN founding  legal departments will require their potential and current outside counsel law firms to consistently and progressively staff matters with diverse teams and lead lawyers. They will engage in an annual diversity data collection process – facilitated by Diversity Lab – that sets outside counsel diversity goals, collects timekeeper and firm diversity data, and rewards compliance. Current exemplar models, such as HP’s law firm diversity & inclusion initiative, have resulted in increasingly diverse teams, providing evidence that this approach produces positive results.

The MTN founding organizations will share their learnings and collaborate on these initiatives with other law firms and legal departments to drive positive changes throughout the legal profession. Details for organizations interested in getting involved can be found at www.MTNFund2025.com.


About Diversity Lab

Diversity Lab is an incubator for innovative ideas and solutions that boost diversity and inclusion in law. Experimental ideas – such as the OnRamp Fellowship and the Mansfield Rule – are created through our Hackathons and piloted in collaboration with more than 100 top law firms and legal departments across the country. Diversity Lab leverages data, behavioral science, design thinking, and technology to further develop and test new ideas and research, measure the results, and share the lessons learned. For more information, visit www.diversitylab.com.