Compiled for the LCLD Board of Directors every Wednesday, this digest is designed to brief you on the latest headlines about LCLD Members and organizations, as well as thought-provoking articles on diversity in the legal profession, talent development, mentoring, and leadership. Past issues of the Digest are also archived on the LCLD web site.

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1. Leadership Lessons at GlaxoSmithKline

LCLD, 5/9/16

Few things speak higher of a company than employee loyalty – and with 30 years at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) under her belt, Cristina Fernandez is certainly a witness to the pharmaceutical company’s inclusive culture. Fernandez’s story – from Cuban refugee to law student to GSK’s Vice President of U.S. Legal Operations Payer Markets (and a longtime LCLD Mentor) – was just one highlight in a day filled with candid anecdotes and advice from GSK leaders at the April 18 LCLD Fellows Learning Experience. Fellows also heard from Daniel Troy, LCLD Member and SVP & GC, a panel of Fellows Alumni, and GSK’s diversity experts. 

2. Why Supplier Diversity is Good, for Everyone

Inc., 4/25/16

LCLD Member organization Lockheed Martin Corporation committed almost $1 billion to small disadvantaged businesses and women-owned firms in 2015, as well as $800 million to veteran-owned firms. The company sees diverse suppliers as an important business asset: “If there is a more efficient way to do something, we want to know about it. Having a diverse supplier network is one way we leverage a broad spectrum of expertise.” The partnerships also benefit small businesses by allowing them to expand to new regions. 

3. Dentons Looks to Expand Reach Through Referral Network

Bloomberg Law, 5/9/16

LCLD Member firm Dentons announced that it is developing a free law firm referral network that will launch later this year. The Nextlaw Global Referral Network will allow Dentons to refer work to firms with a geographic or practice specialty and will have a system of user-generated reviews and rankings for each firm. The system will be free to use (a departure from existing referral networks) and any firm will be eligible to join, with applicants vetted by a panel of law firm partners and general counsel. Read the original press release here

4. 5 Ways to Improve Big Law’s Diversity Problem

Bloomberg Law, 5/4/16

A group of legal leaders in Manhattan were tasked with finding actionable solutions for recurring diversity issues in BigLaw. Solutions included:

  • Collect data related to implicit bias training and hold leaders accountable for improving diversity numbers
  • Mandate sponsorship programs that pair partners/managers with more junior (diverse) lawyers
  • Be transparent about the promotion process and sponsorship programs 

5. ‘State-Sponsored Discrimination’: Loretta Lynch Takes on North Carolina’s Bathroom Bill

The Atlantic, 5/9/16

The Department of Justice is suing the state of North Carolina over a bill that requires transgender people to choose a bathroom based on their sex at birth rather than their gender identity. “This is about the dignity and the respect that we accord our fellow citizens,” said Attorney General Loretta Lynch. “It’s about the founding ideals that have led this country, haltingly but inexorably, in the direction of fairness, inclusion, and equality for all Americans.” A judgment from the DOJ could result in loss of education and other funding from federal agencies.