At the 2016 Fellows meeting last March, Brad Smith shared personal stories and tips on leadership with LCLD president Robert Grey. Videography by Jay Haas.


The Language of Leadership initiative launched at LCLD’s 2016 annual membership meeting is meant to continue at the regional level, where it can, in fact, have even more impact and touch even more careers. It’s important that these discussions draw in Members, current Fellows and Fellows Alums, 1Ls, Pathfinders and even law school Mentees, put them in the same room, and focus on real-world, local issues. LCLD is committed to seeing this critical discussion take root at the local level and becoming as results-oriented for all LCLD participants as possible.

Here are five recommendations offered as a starting template for advancing regional conversations:

Co-host an event with LCLD Members in the spotlight. Law firms and clients in a given metropolitan area can co-host an event for LCLD program participants that puts a General Counsel and a Managing Partner on stage with a moderator—a dramatic setting similar to interviews that Robert Grey has conducted with Brad Smith, Greg Jordan, Paul Jones, Ellen Dwyer, Kate Adams, and others. This has proven to be an effective format allowing for in-depth, intimate conversation and for direct questioning from the audience. Estimated time for this conversation is one hour.

• Let LCLD Fellows and Alumni take the lead. Assign your Fellows to organize the event and manage the details in collaboration with Fellows from other LCLD organizations in your region. 

Prepare questions and topics in advance. LCLD can provide a set of starting questions to get the local conversation between GC and MP off the ground. We’ve seen the kinds of subjects that excite an audience and are glad to make available a short list of topics and potential questions. Audiences, particularly Fellows and Pathfinders, are fascinated to hear personal stories and wisdom from those who’ve “been there...done that.” The on-stage Q&A is an ideal format for extracting those stories and insights. LCLD President Robert Grey may be available to serve as moderator.

Build networking into the event. At the end of the Language of Leadership conversation, there can be an opportunity for networking, particularly for younger attorneys. This can be a simple, one-hour reception where the rising generation of diverse attorneys can pursue with a GC or MP a thought that was raised in the on-stage conversation. It is an invaluable chance for rising attorneys to broaden contacts and rub shoulders with more senior lawyers.

Document the proceedings. Assign a “scribe” to take notes (and a photographer, if possible) during the event and pass along highlights to the LCLD headquarters so we can share beyond a regional event any thoughts that may be of interest to the national LCLD community.

If you are interested in organizing a Language of Leadership event in your area, please contact Jennifer Denton.