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MILWAUKEE -- Shell Oil Co. became a member of the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms' (NAMWOLF) Corporate and Public Entities Partner Program, which advances diversity in the legal profession by encouraging corporations to expend a minimum of 5 percent of their outside counsel budget with certified minority- and women-owned law firms.
In a released statement, NAMWOLF sad Shell is an industry leader in diversity and inclusiveness with a proven track record of investing in the development of the full range of local talent, supporting opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses, and contributing to local communities. The company actively seeks out diverse talent, both in large, minority- and women-owned law firms, as part of an ongoing strategy to attract high quality talent with diverse and non-traditional views. In 2009, Shell Legal spent more than 15 percent of its budget for legal services with minority- and women-owned firms, according to the association.
"We are proud to join NAMWOLF in providing opportunities to and empowering minority and women owned law firms," stated John Esquivel, associate general counsel for Shell Oil Co. "Diversity and inclusiveness are more than just a simple mantra for us because, when successfully implemented, they mean we have a work environment in place that helps us attract and retain top talent, as well as find innovative solutions to complex challenges."
Shell's long-standing and continually expanding commitment to diversity and inclusiveness means that the company already exceeds the CPEPP goal of expending a minimum of 5 percent of its outside counsel budget with certified minority and women owned law firms, according to the company. Shell also focuses on investing in and developing processes and tools to support minority- and women-owned law firms, including the creation of an internal directory containing information on all the minority and women owned law firms Shell does business with, NAMWOLF said.
"We believe the commitments of corporations such as Shell are the surest path to increasing diversity in the legal profession," Yolanda Coly, NAMWOLF managing director, said in a statement. "We are delighted to welcome Shell as a partner in CPEPP."