Coke Reviews Diversity at Outside Law Firms, Honors Shook Hardy
The Coca-Cola Co. sent a questionnaire to its 18 outside law firms asking about their diversity practices, then honored Shook, Hardy & Bacon for good results.
The soft drink company awarded Shook Hardy its “Living the Values” award at a dinner in Atlanta last week, according to the Fulton County Daily Report. Holland & Knight came in second in the diversity survey while Alston & Bird was third.
At Shook Hardy, 55 of its 500 lawyers are racial or ethnic minorities and 200 are women. Thirty-five of the women and 24 of the minority lawyers are partners. Shook recruits minority law grads at a job fair and from schools outside the top 20. The firm asks every lawyer to set annual diversity goals and allows everyone to see how well the goals were carried out.
John Lewis Jr., Coke’s senior managing litigation counsel, said law firms that do well in the survey have an advantage. “Those firms that most closely align with these values are those firms that will do better with us over time,” he told reporters after the award presentation.
Coke general counsel Geoff Kelly is one of more than 100 GCs who will be discussing diversity iniatives later this month at a Call to Action Summit in Arizona. He and Lewis said a third of Coca-Cola’s 155 in-house lawyers are minorities and more than half are women.