Sep 15, 2011 • By

Our super lawyer

The current issue of Super Lawyers magazine features the successful and impressive career of Rick Palmore, General Mills’ executive vice president, general counsel, and chief compliance and risk management officer.

The article gives readers a colorful look into the experiences that have shaped Rick’s career and the challenges and types of issues he handles today.

Rick came to General Mills from Sara Lee in 2008 and now leads the company’s worldwide Law department activities, corporate ethics and compliance, and corporate security.

The article states:

At General Mills, where he supervises 50 attorneys, Palmore’s responsibilities are incredibly diverse. His tasks include anything from poring over marketing language to looking into prospective international interests on the company’s behalf. “There really isn’t a typical day for me,” he says. “The environment is so interesting these days, from an economic standpoint, a regulatory standpoint, a geopolitical standpoint.”

The Super Lawyers article notes many of Rick’s accomplishments, including his work to promote diversity in the legal field.

Palmore is not one to seek the spotlight, but doesn’t shy from taking a strong public stance on diversity in the legal field. He gained attention as the first African-American to make partner at Wildman Harrold, and while at Sara Lee, he steered the company’s business away from outside law firms with low diversity marks. Then he wrote A Call to Action – Diversity in the Legal Profession, a document in which he encouraged corporate legal officers to push for increased diversity when retaining outside counsel. About 120 counsel, many with Fortune 500 companies, pledged to take corporate diversity efforts into account when hiring outside firms.

An outgrowth of Palmore’s manifesto was the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, now a 2-year-old nonprofit whose aim is to challenge the legal profession to foster and encourage diversity. Growth is good, Palmore says, but the problem hasn’t been solved. “I’m happy with the progress that LCLD has made,” he says. “I’m not happy about the progress of diversity in this profession.”

You can read the entire article in the 2011 Super Lawyers Business edition.