With New Orleans' scenic French Quarter as a backdrop, more than 110 LCLD Fellows Alumni gathered in June for the group's Fourth Annual Alumni Conference, organized by the Alumni Conference Committee and co-chaired by Brian Seaman (2013 Fellow, Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young; at left, photo below) and Darwin Conner (2013 Fellow, Sullivan & Worcester; center, below).
The two-day meeting featured a full agenda (attached, below), from a keynote lecture on "covering" and implicit bias (delivered by Kenji Yoshino, Professor of Law at NYU) to sessions on body language, leadership, career strategies, and technological innovations for the legal profession.
The Fellows Alumni Executive Committee, led by Chair Zohra Tejani and Chair Elect Jason DeJonker, also announced a new contributions structure for the Fellows Alumni organization, which has grown since its founding in 2012 into one of the largest and most active programs offered by LCLD.
As always, the Fellows Alumni spent every spare minute—and there weren't many—nurturing the personal and professional relationships that have emerged as one of the most valuable benefits of the LCLD Fellows Program.
"This annual get-together has grown into a full-blown conference, which adds even more value to the Alumni experience," said Shanna Cohn (2011), co-chair of the Fellows Alumni Communications Committee. "To me, seeing colleagues in person—reconnecting with old friends, hearing about their careers, and meeting new people from classes other than mine—is incredibly exciting. That's what will keep people coming back three, four, and five years later, and what makes this such a powerful organization."
The full-throttle intensity of the conference was also leavened by two special events.
On Thursday afternoon, dozens of the Fellows Alumni volunteered at a carnival (photo, right) organized by the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP), an inner-city non-profit organization whose mission is to engage underserved young people through community-based education, mentoring, and employment readiness programs.
And at an off-site dinner on Friday night, Rick Palmore, founding Chair of LCLD, presented the inaugural Rick Palmore LCLD Fellows Alumni Award to Bruce Strothers (2012 Fellow, Coca Cola). For the full story, go here.
"Having Rick Palmore, the founder of LCLD, at the Alumni Conference was amazing," Cohn said. "Seeing someone of that caliber demonstrate his personal commitment to the success of the Fellows Alumni—and to know that all LCLD Members share his commitment, top to bottom—that's what makes this such a special organization. It's very inspiring."
For more information about the Fellows Alumni, or the conference, contact Courtney Nolde, Special Projects Manager.
Photography by Charles Belt and Don Belt