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.

If you have questions about the Digest, articles you'd like to share, of if you would like to subscribe, please email Caitlin Puffenberger at

1. White House Launches a Call to Action for Private Sector Engagement on the Global Refugee Crisis 

White House Briefing Room, 6/30/16 

LCLD Member corporations Hewlett Packard, IBM, Microsoft, and UPS were among the 15 founding signatories to a White House Call to Action regarding refugees. Signatories promise to make “new, measurable, and significant commitments that will have a durable impact on refugees resigning in countries on the frontlines of the global refuses crisis and in countries of resettlement.” The United Nations estimates that there are more than 65 million displaced people in the world today, with more than 21 million of these people registered as refugees. Scroll down on this page to see what founding members are doing to support refugees. 

2. Women Lawyers Face a Steep Climb to Partner

The National Law Journal, 6/27/16

LCLD Member firms Ford & Harrison LLP; Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete LLP; Hogan Lovells US LLP; Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.; and Shipman & Goodwin LLP are among the top 10 firms on the National Law Journal’s 2015 Women in Law Scorecard. The report surveys 254 of the country’s top firms. Other notable data from the report:

  • Women made up 34 percent of all attorneys, 21 percent of all partners, and 17 percent of equity partners.
  • Only 22 firms had a female attorney percentage of 40 or higher.
  • Employment law firms seemed to have the highest numbers of women attorneys overall, while firms that specialize in intellectual property had the lowest.
  • Law firm leaders speculate that programs alone are not enough to improve the number of women in senior positions; a supportive, inclusive tone from the top is essential. 

3. Getting More Black Women Into the C-Suite

Harvard Business Review, 7/1/16

Both research and anecdotal evidence find that black women are consistently overlooked by diversity initiatives and social movements that focus on either African Americans or women. Black women in particular lack sponsors at work, and the employee resource groups that many organizations have put in place to support minorities continue to overlook the black women who are at the intersection of two identities. “Leaders must create a culture in which people at the intersections of functional or affinity identities have equal access to their attention or equal opportunity to earn it.”

4. Op-Ed: How to Fix America’s Identity Crisis

Politico, 7/4/16

“On July 4, it’s time to consider an inclusive idea of the American nation – a melting pot vision of American identity that reconciles America’s founding ideals with its racial and ethnic diversity,” writes Michelle Lind, Co-Founder of New America. “Americans can and should celebrate particular ancestral nationalities. But central to this American ideal would be a sense that these myriad ethnicities and religions (not just the five arbitrary Census categories) were part of a great American mix. This does not require identifying with one of the few arbitrary racial categories that are central to white nativism and nonwhite nationalism alike.”

5. The U.S. Military’s Welcome for Transgender Troops

The Atlantic, 6/30/16

The U.S. military will allow transgender people to serve openly in the military for the first time in U.S. history, following an announcement from the Secretary of Defense last week. The rule will be phased in over the course of a year, at which time transgender people will be allowed to enlist; transgender people serve in all branches of the U.S. military, but the military currently only recognizes them by their gender at birth. “We can’t allow barriers unrelated to a person’s qualifications prevent us from recruiting and retaining those who can best accomplish the mission,” the Secretary of Defense said.