After nearly two years of research and planning, the LCLD Pathfinder Program was launched in pilot form earlier this spring in Chicago, when 40 young attorneys from LCLD organizations (above) were hosted for two days of intensive training in leadership, personal branding, and relationship-building, led by LCLD Program Director Lori Lorenzo and a team of expert presenters.
"There was a gap [in LCLD programming] for junior associates or the youngest members of a corporate law department," says Greg Jordan, General Counsel of PNC Financial Services Group, who, as an LCLD Board Member in 2011, was a prime architect of LCLD's flagship Fellows Program. "That is a population of lawyers where you have some very high attrition—so we created the Pathfinder Program as a way to deal with that gap."
"The curriculum for this program has been very carefully designed to accommodate both the young in-house and law firm lawyer," says Lorenzo. "We do this by identifying the vital leadership training and professional development needs that both groups share, while also focusing on the disparate needs of the two groups through small-group and breakout training sessions. All of that comes together for the Member organizations, both corporations and law firms, in a more confident, more assertive, more leadership-oriented young lawyer."
The Pathfinder launch was hosted by Vince Sergi, Chairman, and the staff at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, one of LCLD's most active Member organizations. "LCLD has created Pathfinder to address the retention of diverse associates three to five years out, which is a big issue for law firms," says Leslie Minier, the firm's Chief Diversity Officer. "No matter where you are in your diversity programs, LCLD can help you build upon what you already have."
The Pathfinder pilot got a boost earlier this year when LCLD Member Hewitt Pate, VP and General Counsel of Chevron Corporation, recognized fellow Member Rivero Mestre LLP of Miami for its commitment to diversity and inclusion with a monetary award, which the law firm then donated to LCLD.
"LCLD does a fantastic job with its programs," said Jorge Mestre, Rivero Mestre's Managing Partner. "So when Chevron honored us with the Award, we decided to apply it to the Pathfinders pilot project, to help LCLD reach diverse young lawyers between three and eight years into their careers, who are often overlooked.
"I feel, as LCLD does, that if you give these talented young professionals the skills they need to become leaders, the sky's the limit."
For more on the Pathfinder Program, contact Lori Lorenzo, Program Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.