The diversity of the legal profession continues to lag the diversity of the American population. Despite rising awareness of the issue over the last decade and even a number of well-intentioned efforts, progress has been slow. In this speech, Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith will make the case for more rapid progress, outline the types of practical steps that are needed at law firms and companies, and speak to new initiatives across the legal profession to make the next decade more successful.
Brad Smith is Microsoft's general counsel and senior vice president, Legal and Corporate Affairs. He leads the company's Department of Legal and Corporate Affairs (LCA), which has just over 1,000 employees and is responsible for the company's legal work, its intellectual property portfolio, and its government affairs and philanthropic work. He also serves as Microsoft's corporate secretary and its chief compliance officer.
Since becoming general counsel in 2002, Smith has overseen numerous negotiations leading to competition law and intellectual property agreements with governments and with companies across the IT sector. He has helped spearhead the growth in the company's intellectual property portfolio and the launch of global campaigns to bring enforcement actions against those engaged in software piracy and counterfeiting, malware, consumer fraud, and other digital crimes. As software has migrated online and into a computing "cloud," one of LCA's current principal goals is to help establish the legal foundation for this next generation of technology. More..