A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds

Published: Nov 13, 2007


Among the corporate clients leading the charge for greater law firm diversity is Wal-Mart, which has insisted that its outside counsel “demonstrate a meaningful interest to the importance of diversity”—or risk losing the company’s business.


The New York Times reports today that the world’s largest retailer, long criticized for its penny-pinching ways with its own workers, is now going to offer less “stingy” health care options to its employees. That said, don’t assume the company has abandoned its low-cost ethos (“Save money. Live better.”). According to Linda Dillman, who is overseeing the benefits overhaul, “If Wal-Mart goes out of business because of health care, we won’t have accomplished anything in terms of helping people.” Of course, it all depends on whom you want to help.


Ethics 101 question: Does caring about whether your own African American employees can afford to go to the doctor fall in an entirely different moral category from caring whether the law firm you retain employs African American lawyers?


- posted by vera