Dear LCLD Members:

As we enter our second decade as an organization, I am honored to serve as Chair of the LCLD Board, following in the bold footsteps of my predecessors Rick Palmore, Wally Martinez, Brad Smith, and Laura Stein. I am grateful for their hard work, and yours, that has brought us to this moment.

LCLD has accomplished extraordinary things over the past ten years.

We have forged a spirit of collaboration between general counsel and managing partners that redefined leadership to include an active, shared commitment to diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. We stand together, and we speak with one voice.

We have built a robust array of LCLD programs, designed to equip the next generation with cutting-edge leadership skills and relationships to last a lifetime. These programs, more popular by the year, are the envy of the profession, having served more than 10,000 talented, diverse attorneys at practically every stage of a legal career, from law school to the highest levels of leadership in our organizations.

And we have built upon the personal commitment of you, our Members, to create a truly national organization, with ongoing, grassroots activities in support of our mission. In cities across the US, our Members, diversity professionals, and program participants are doing the necessary work of building networks, sponsoring each other, and paying it forward to the leaders of tomorrow, who will inherit an America that is more diverse with every passing year.

We have a great deal to be proud of. Yet much remains to be done.

Statistics remind us that obstacles to the advancement of diverse talent have resisted our best efforts to remove them. They persist within our organizations, handed down as habits of work formulated decades or even centuries ago, when the world, and the legal profession, was very different from what it is today.

Overcoming those impediments will be difficult, and will require that each of us gain a deep understanding of the experience our diverse lawyers are having in our law firms and legal departments. That understanding must serve as the foundation for and propel our efforts over the next decade to change the experiences and professional lives of our diverse lawyers.

We must begin by challenging each other as leaders to make a personal commitment to know, sponsor, and instill confidence in our diverse lawyers that they can realize their professional ambitions in our organizations. Our work will begin—not end—when our Fellows and Pathfinders return to us from LCLD's outstanding programs.

In a larger sense, it will be our mission, as Members of LCLD, to answer the call of history, to make our profession, once and for all, as diverse as the nation we serve.

I'm excited by that challenge and will do my level best to make it so. I thank you for your support, and your steadfast commitment to the mission of LCLD.



Ellen Dwyer
Chair of the Executive Committee, Crowell & Moring LLP