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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Nine of the top 10 “Best Law Firms to Work For” are LCLD Members, with O’Melveny & Myers LLP taking the No. 1 slot. Firms were rated in categories like Firm Culture, Hours, Substantive Work, Leadership Transparency, and Diversity; LCLD Member firms also took the top spots in several of those categories.
The New York Times, 7/14/16
LCLD Member firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP has elected Faiza Saeed as its new Presiding Partner; when she takes over in January, Saeed will be the first woman to hold the position in the firm’s nearly 200-year history. As of 2015, only three of the top 200 law firms in the U.S. had female managing partners.
Thirty-four percent of lawyers at large firms are women, and percentages drop as women move up the ladder. Yet data shows law firms are slowly moving in the right direction. The percentage of female associates and female law school graduates are almost equal, as law firms engage in more inclusive recruiting. Women also make up 23 percent of governing committee members, compared to just 18 percent of equity partners, meaning women are gaining a say in areas like compensation and partner promotion. These numbers suggest Big Law needs to turn its focus to retention, with strategies like flexible work arrangements, child care options, reintegration programs, and mentoring and sponsorship.
There is a gap in leadership training at many organizations because development programs fail to energize and inspire, says Matt Pease, an author and leadership development expert. Common pitfalls for leadership development programs include too much focus on the process (guidelines, benchmarks, etc.) and a lack of involvement from senior leaders. Current executives can help develop talent more effectively by engaging in better feedback practices and encouraging talented employees to experiment with challenging leadership assignments, Pease says.
Harvard Business Review, 7/13/16
“Across every job and individual outcome, the effects of subtle discrimination were at least as bad as, if not worse than, overt discrimination,” a new study found. Subtly biased comments come more frequently, take more time to process, and rarely have legal repercussions, leading people to expend mental and emotional resources. Workplaces can benefit from unconscious bias training, but it must be paired with action-oriented, measurable practices to be effective.