MCCA Approved is a framework for establishing sustainable diversity, equity, and inclusion (“DEI”) strategy focused on actionable solutions for law firms and corporate legal departments. MCCA Approved is distinguishable from other diversity initiatives because it is focused on identifying systemic challenges in recruiting, retaining, and promoting diverse attorneys, which are critical to sustainability and have a notable positive impact. We know what works and what doesn’t, and we have a deep understanding of the challenges organizations are facing. We know that a concerted effort to diversify corporate America successfully requires bringing everyone to the table. This framework solidifies MCCA’s organizational identity as a thought leader; advocates for developing sustainable DEI strategies to help corporate America know better, do better, lead better, and ultimately transform; and establishes a much-needed industry standard.
MCCA Approved is designed to impact three fundamental areas within member organizations:
- Leadership Accountability:
CEO/GC/senior leadership commitment and accountability, DEI strategy management, as well as representation metrics and practices of the board of directors and diversity committees/councils.
90% of MCCA members will become MCCA Approved and we will continue to achieve positive gains in our quantitative and qualitative diversity metrics as evidenced by our annual Law Firm Diversity and Corporate Demographic Surveys.
- Business Processes and Practices:
Metrics related to talent management (acquisition, onboarding, and development), ongoing DEI education, workforce engagement, and employee compensation.
Members who identify, implement and measure business process and practice metrics will improve recruitment, retention and promotion in their organizations as measured by the MCCA Diversity Scorecard.
- Human Capital Diversity Metrics:
Gender, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, and racial/ethnic representation of the overall workforce and management, as well as representation in new hires, promotions, and representation in leadership.
Identify, implement and measure participation metrics and practices for formal mentoring, formal sponsorship, employee resource groups, and high-potential development programs.
Get MCCA Approved for 2023
Submit MCCA Approved application by October 1, 2023
Application is reviewed by MCCA (typically 4 weeks)
Accreditation status is socialized
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Accreditation & Framework
- An informal DEI strategic plan utilizing MCCA’s best practice guides and tools.
- See Developing an Effective and Sustainable DEI Strategic Plan for additional guidance and contact email@example.com for additional resources and assistance.
- Provide the organization’s DEI mission statement.
- For law firms: participate in MCCA’s annual Law Firm Diversity Surveys (the US and Global if applicable).
- Communicate internally and externally the organization’s engagement and partnership with MCCA and other DEI-driven partner organizations on the website and intranet.
- Attend career fairs at law schools that have a higher concentration of underrepresented racial/ethnic students and beyond the traditional T14 to ensure that a larger pool of diverse attorneys is recruited. We also recommend attending career fairs at a variety of HBCUs. This ensures that law firms diversify their pipeline outreach (i.e., not just relying on the interview week that occurs at the top fourteen (14) law schools).
- Post open positions on diverse job boards e.g., MCCA’s Hot Jobs, Job Bank, etc.
- Implement recruiting bias interrupter into the hiring process and request HR and/or recruiters provide a diverse slate of candidates for open attorney positions.
To earn the Silver Seal, you must also complete the Bronze Seal requirements.
- A dedicated DEI Council, Committee, or Task Force, whose chief role and responsibility is promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the organization.
- For legal departments: participate in MCCA’s Corporate Demographic Survey.
- For legal departments: require outside counsel to participate in MCCA’s annual Law Firm Diversity Survey and Diversity Scorecard (Scorecard) and require outside counsel to provide a Scorecard for review and discussion.
- For law firms: law firm diversity participants must receive a 90% score on the Diversity Scorecard for transparency.
- A formal recruiting strategy to increase the number of women and diverse attorneys in the organization adhering to the guidelines outlined in MCCA’s bias interrupters research. See the Bias Interrupters Toolkit series for additional guidance and contact firstname.lastname@example.org for additional resources and assistance.
- Participate in diversity career fairs, e.g., MCCA’s Virtual Diversity Career Fair in the recruitment of diverse attorneys.
To earn the Gold Seal you must also complete the Bronze and Silver Seal requirements.
- A formal DEI strategic plan utilizing MCCA’s best practice guides and tools.
A formal DEI strategy outlines the implementation of the organization’s DEI goals and objectives that promote DEI in the organization. It should demonstrate how the organization’s DEI strategic goals align with and improve the overall business strategy by stating specific, measurable steps you will take to implement the organization’s DEI strategy. A formal strategy includes but is not limited to the outline of programs and initiatives, developed processes to identity and measure metrics, and impact analysis. See Developing an Effective and Sustainable DEI Strategic Plan for additional guidance and contact email@example.com for additional resources and assistance.
- For legal departments: become a signatory to the MCCA Diversity Scorecard and utilize the Scorecard as a factor in their review of outside counsel DEI requirements.
- For law firms: law firm diversity participants must receive a 100% score on the Diversity Scorecard for transparency.
- For law firms: a dedicated full-time DEI professional, such as a Chief Diversity Officer or Senior Director of Diversity and Inclusion, or Director of Diversity and Inclusion whose chief role and responsibility is promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in the organization.
- This position is distinguished from a partner who practices, and also serves as the department’s diversity and inclusion partner in addition to their book of business or legal work. A dedicated professional for DEI ensures that the hiring, and most importantly, the retention and promotion of diverse attorneys is this individual’s principal responsibility.
- This individual is responsible for DEI strategy and execution, which includes establishing benchmarks, creating key performance indicators for success; and creating a culture of inclusion and belonging. This individual also serves as a liaison between MCCA and their organization and works to resolve DEI issues.
- The DEI professional must have resources (financial, labor, and time) to develop and execute the DEI strategy.
- Ensure the Chief Diversity Officer (CDO)/senior DEI professional reports directly to the Management Committee and not to the head of human resources (HR). DEI is not and should not be viewed only as improving an HR function. DEI strategy is part of a larger business strategy that should be part of every function, including management and board, which HR does not set.
- For law firms: marketing, business development, human resources, and/or DEI teams are synchronized on DEI strategy (recruiting, retention and promotion) and client deliverables. For example, the groups meet quarterly to discuss messaging for clients, including pitches and requests for DEI information from clients or recruiting at career fairs or law schools. Moreover, formal educational courses for the aforementioned groups who are designing the DEI framework for their organization.
- For legal departments: human resources, DEI team, marketing, and communications are synchronized with the legal department on enterprise-wide DEI strategy (recruiting, retention and promotion), For example, the groups meet quarterly to discuss internal and external messaging on DEI strategy and goals. Moreover, formal educational courses for the aforementioned groups who are designing the DEI framework for their organization.
The Platinum Seal is our highest accreditation level, showing that your organization meets every single one of the outlined standards. To earn the Platinum you must also complete the Bronze, Silver, and Gold requirements.
- A formal succession plan that identifies high-performing underrepresented attorneys (Race/Ethnicity, Gender, Openly LGBTQ+, Individuals with Disabilities and Military Veterans) and transparently communicates the firm’s or department’s promotional requirements.
- Continuous formal educational courses for leaders identifying opportunities to look past the status quo and generate the solutions and strategies leaders need to sustain DEI progress for the long run. Often, the CLO may focus on the organizational level, as that is where their fiduciary duty may lead them: championing supplier diversity efforts, partnering with HR and/or DEI on pay equity reviews, and building a diverse board of directors. However, their individual influence is just as powerful when they demonstrate equity in their promotions, their recognition efforts and sponsorship, and modeling the way as an inclusive leader.
- A letter from the CEO, CLO and/or Firm Chair shared externally and internally outlining their commitment to effective and sustainable DEI strategies that support the recruitment, retention and promotion of diverse employees and a commitment to make corporate America as diverse as the world we live in.
When does the MCCA Approved application open?
Typically the application opens in November for the following year. Eg. November 2022 for 2023 accreditation, November 2023 for 2024 accreditation, etc.
What is MCCA Approved?
MCCA Approved is a framework for establishing sustainable diversity, equity, and inclusion (“DEI”) strategy focused on actionable solutions for law firms and corporate legal departments.
Does this submission replace the Law Firm Diversity Survey or the Corporate Demographic Survey?
No, MCCA Approved is a separate members-only accreditation application. The Law Firm Diversity Survey and Corporate Demographic Survey are separate and do not require membership.
Does being MCCA Approved impact my Law Firm Diversity Survey, Scorecard, or ranking?
No, being MCCA Approved has no impact on ranking or score on any survey.
Does being MCCA Approved impact ranking or recognition for MCCA awards?
No, being MCCA Approved does not influence scores or rankings toward any MCCA program. Non-members and members will still be considered and eligible for awards, such as the Sager award.
How is MCCA Approved different than other diversity initiative programs?
MCCA Approved is distinguishable from other diversity initiatives because it is focused on identifying systemic challenges in recruiting, retaining, and promoting diverse attorneys, which are critical to sustainability and have a notable positive impact.
Is there an annual fee associated with the accreditation or media rights?
What should I do if I have not received my application link?
If you have not received it, please make sure you have checked your spam. If you still do not have an email, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org.
When will I find out if I am MCCA Approved?
MCCA Approved applicants will be notified on a rolling basis 4 weeks after submitting the application.
I am a new member, am I able to apply for MCCA Approved accreditation?
Yes, new MCCA members will be provided the application materials for MCCA Approved upon their onboarding and will be accredited on a rolling basis.
Is it too late to apply?
It is not too late. MCCA Approved submissions and notification of accreditation will be on a rolling basis. Please contact email@example.com if you have any deadline questions.
How will my information and document uploads be used? Will it be shared with other participating firms and members?
Your application and any supporting materials will not be shared externally with any third parties.