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The American civil-rights era has been instrumental in the shaping and reconfiguring of commercial discourse in North America. Shortly after 1965, the year in which public segregation was outlawed, minority business ownership began to increase. However, many minority-owned businesses continued to be overlooked for contract consideration.

As a result, organizations were created in North America to liaise between minority-owned businesses, including law firms. A law firm is considered a “diverse” supplier if it is at least 51-per-cent owned and operated by women or visible minorities. Although the strategy has met with some success, minority-owned firms still struggle to secure legal contracts, event though hiring them may make sound business sense.

Lexpert Change Agent guest columnist Tanya Walker, of Walker Law Professional Corp., reports at www.lexpert.ca. Follow @Lexpert on Twitter. Lexpert is published by Thomson Reuters.

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