Diversity Dialogue Broadening Business Perspectives

How Your Firm Can Benefit from a Supplier Diversity Program

Wouldn’t it be great if you could look at the important values and goals of your company and match those with a supplier and/or a third-party vendor? Fortunately, through a supplier diversity program (SDP), you can! 

Although it does take just a little bit of work to implement a successful SDP, the benefits are clear. Creating and implementing an SDP requires employing diverse businesses to meet your law firm’s needs. In turn, this creates value, increased exposure and increased opportunities to provide quality representation to your clients. 


SDPs are an organization’s policy of actively seeking out suppliers that are owned and operated by individuals from underrepresented groups. These groups may include women, LGBTQ+ individuals, persons with disabilities, veterans and/or minorities. To qualify as a diverse supplier, the company must have at least 51% ownership by an individual from one of these underrepresented backgrounds.

While diversity in the legal industry continues to trend slightly upward in terms of recruitment, hiring and retention, when creating an effective SDP, firms must make a concerted effort to explore all the ways their company would benefit from using diverse suppliers for goods and services.

Having a continued and long-term partnership with a business that you know, rely upon and trust is the key to providing your clients with the best service possible. Seeking opportunities to collaborate with diverse suppliers can lead to increased brand awareness and greater exposure to clients and businesses that value diversity, equity and inclusion.

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There are numerous agencies and resources available to help your firm get started should you encounter any barriers to creating an SDP. For example, the National Minority Supplier Diversity CounselSupplier Diversity Champions and the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce are all organizations that can help you move forward with procuring diverse contracts. Don’t forget to reach out to your local Chamber of Commerce or Small Business Administration to find and employ local business vendors that are in your community. Each of these steps can be critical in moving our industry forward.

A law firm that promotes diversity as one of its core values actively works to strengthen the community in which it practices. Here are a few quick factors to consider when seeking out diverse business suppliers and vendors:

  • Is the business at least 51% owned and operated by an individual or a group that is traditionally underrepresented and underserved?
  • Does the business operate in your firm’s community?
  • Do the business’ values reflect your firm’s core principles and values?

Not every business relationship is a match made in heaven. However, once you realize the importance of supplier diversity in your firm’s everyday needs and make a strategic plan in seeking and establishing those relationships, then the opportunities and value added to your firm will be remarkable.