DEI Discourse: How to Embrace Diversity in Legal

by Taeler Gannuscia |
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A commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion should be on every company’s radar. However, it's clear that some industries are slow to catch on to this notion. Enter JusticeBid: a legal tech company helps law firms and in-house legal teams harness diversity analytics to measure and improve their impact.

We had the pleasure of having Omar Sweiss, Founder and CEO of JusticeBid, on our podcast to discuss why he began the company, what they do, and what he believes the future will look like for DEI in the legal sphere. Below are a few highlights from our discussion:

MEET OMAR SWEISS: eNTREPRENEUR, lAWYER, AND dIVERSITY champion

When asked how JusticeBid began and what drove him to build it, Omar said his story began on the south side of Chicago.  He grew up with the mission to give back to the community that gave him so much, but had historically been underrepresented. So, he began his career as a business owner and real estate developer to create jobs in the local Chicago community. Later he went to law school to serve as in-house counsel for his own businesses' legal needs. Having spent 20+ years building businesses and investing in diverse opportunities, he founded JusticeBid with a purpose to help companies leverage e-sourcing and diversity analytics tools to accelerate impact.

justicebid: a Minority-owned diversity analytics & e-Sourcing company

In Omar's words, JusticeBid is "helping every corporate law department get the diversity data on their law firms at large" with tools that help organizations embed DEI into their business operations. This means as corporate legal teams go through the RFP process they can make informed decisions, choosing to work only with firms and suppliers that align with their core values.  What's more, is that JusticeBid is the first e-sourcing company to solve for intersectionality in its analytics. This prevents double or triple counting an individual for each attribute of their identity, preventing an inflated view of a company's diversity. JusticeBid's core mission? To help companies accelerate impact by bringing much-needed transparency to the diversity of law firms in general.

pro tip: BEING A DEI ALLY BEGINS WITH COURAGE

Omar shared his belief that the underpinning of all DEI work is courage. At the end of the day, it's about having the courage to take action by using your resources and influence to effectuate change. Collaborating together to accelerate that change is, as Omar said, "the way to go". Rather than saying "Do better, and if you don't, I'm not working with you", offer words of encouragement and guidance. If you notice someone that you work or partner with is not operating in alignment with the values you both strive to support, try saying  "Look, you're not where I think we all should be. What can we do to work together and to collaborate as a partnership so we can see this space get better for all?". Having the courage to collaborate with others both inside and outside of your organization is the best way to accelerate that change we all want to see. A simple but strong statement Omar made to sum this up is "progress over punishment".

If you'd like to learn more about JusiceBid and our interview with Omar (and trust us, you do!), check out our latest episode of the Contract Lens podcast. 

And if you're as passionate about DEI as we are, learn more about Malbek's DEI initiatives here.

 

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