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Microsoft to pay law firms bonuses for reducing the number of white men on staff.

The National Law Journal, via law.com, reports that Microsoft's has informed its 17 "Premier Preferred Provider law firms", which collectively receive about $150 million in fees each year, that they will receive financial bonuses based on "improvements" they make in their diversity numbers.

The preferred law firms must opt by Aug. 15 for one of two ways they want Microsoft to track their diversity "progress." Under one formula, they must demonstrate a two-percentage point increase in the percentage of Microsoft hours billed by "diverse" attorneys, compared to last year. Under the second formula, law firms must show a 0.5 percentage point increase in total "diverse" attorneys as a percentage of the firms' total attorneys, regardless of whether they work on Microsoft matters.

Included in Microsoft's definition of diverse attorneys are women and those attorneys who are African-American, Latino/Hispanic, Asian, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, American Indian, Alaska Native or "mixed race." Obviously, then, reducing the number of white men on staff is "progress" to Microsoft.

Imagine if reduction in any other group was considered "progress".

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Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.