Thomas L. Sager Awards

The Thomas L. Sager Award is given to law firms that have demonstrated a sustained commitment to improving the hiring, retention, and promotion of diverse attorneys. The Sager Award recipient will be profiled in Diversity & the Bar magazine, the official magazine of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association.

Starting in 2016, MCCA will select three national finalists and one winner for the Sager Award. The three national finalists will have an opportunity to showcase their diversity and inclusion efforts in a 2-minute video, to be shown at the MCCA Diversity Gala at the Kennedy Center, where more than 1,000 people will attend including about 500 in-house lawyers. The winner of the Sager Award will be announced at the Gala in front of the guests and alongside the Employer of Choice winners.

2016 National Finalists

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading global law firm with more than 900 lawyers and professionals in 20 offices globally. Our clients include individuals, corporations and foreign governments. We were founded in 1945 by Robert Strauss and Richard Gump, with the guiding vision that commitment, excellence and integrity would drive our success. Their own experience in an industry and at a time when doors were closed to them on the basis of their faith also meant that understanding of, and respect for, diversity and inclusiveness were a cornerstone of the firm from day one. We incorporated those qualities into our core values as we grew into an international full-service firm positioned at the intersection of commerce, policy and the law. Our goal in every engagement is to field diverse teams of top professionals who provide service that not only meets but anticipates the needs of our clients. Our lawyers collaborate across borders and practices to provide seamless, cost-effective, comprehensive counsel.

Littler is the largest global employment and labor law practice, with more than 1,000 attorneys in over 70 offices worldwide. Littler represents management in all aspects of employment and labor law and serves as a single-source solution provider to the global employer community. Known in the industry as a leading and innovative law practice, Littler has been litigating, mediating and negotiating some of the most influential employment law cases and labor contracts on record for nearly 75 years. The firm’s success is deeply rooted in its diverse law practice. Littler is widely recognized by clients, the media and leading associations for its progressive diversity and inclusion programs and is committed to creating a culture in which different backgrounds, experiences and talents reflect the diverse makeup of its attorneys, professional staff and clients. Littler’s continued goal is to foster a working environment in which anyone can thrive, regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, military status or disability. The firm’s inclusive and cohesive culture allows Littler to be a stronger and smarter firm.

Sheppard Mullin is a full service Global 100 firm with 750 attorneys in 15 offices located in the United States, Europe and Asia. Since 1927, companies have turned to Sheppard Mullin to handle corporate and technology matters, high stakes litigation and complex financial transactions. In the U.S., the firm's clients include more than half of the Fortune 100. At Sheppard Mullin, we recognize the importance of diversity and the need to create a workplace of inclusion. Achieving and maintaining diversity is a core value of our firm.

Selection Criteria

In addition to the statistical data that is set forth in the nomination application, the Board of Director’s will examine such areas as:

  • Recruitment,
  • Retention,
  • Mentoring,
  • Promotion,
  • Pipeline Initiatives,
  • LGBT Initiatives,
  • Women Initiatives,
  • Work-Life balance,
  • Collaborative efforts with community and bar associations, and
  • Innovative practices that result in sustainable efforts to increase diversity.


  1. Thomas L. Sager was the Senior Vice President and General Counsel at DuPont.
  2. For the purposes of this award, "minority" includes attorneys who are members of an ethnic minority.

For more information contact us at

Thomas L. Sager's relentless commitment to increasing diversity in the legal profession — despite competing interests and mounting cynicism — is why MCCA created the "Thomas L. Sager Award."

Nomination Form

Thomas L. Sager Award Application Deadline is April 30, 2017.

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About Thomas L. Sager

  • DuPont Chairman Edgar Woolard, Jr. begins the process of reinventing DuPont, Spring 1992

  • DuPont Legal Department begins the Convergence Process, Fall 1992

  • DuPont Legal hosts the first Minority Job Fair with its Primary Law Firms (PLFs), Fall 1993

  • Sager and FTI produce The Winds of Change, a video describing the changes sweeping the legal industry, October 1995

  • Publication of The DuPont Legal Model, A New Era, a brief treatise describing the principles behind DuPont Legal’s initiatives, May 1996

  • Law firms and suppliers form the PLF Diversity Task Force, October 1996

  • PLFs sponsor and conduct a Marketing Directors Conference and Diversity Training, May 1997

  • PLF Minority Job Fairs expand nationwide (Chicago, Wilmington, DE & Los Angeles), Summer 1997

  • The Law Firm Diversity Awareness Video released, October 1997

  • DuPont hosts the first PLF Minority Counsel Conference, March 1998

  • DuPont hosts the first PLF Women’s Counsel Conference

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