Welcome to the LCLD INSIDER, our monthly newsletter to Members and supporters of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity. This publication is for you, and we welcome your feedback and ideas, as well as any news you might be interested in passing along. We also encourage you to share the INSIDER with your support staff, diversity directors, and public relations and/or marketing departments to keep them better informed about what LCLD is doing. Thanks again for reading, and for your membership in LCLD.

-Robert Grey, Executive Director

LCLD Launches Second Year of Fellows Program

Kudos to Greg Jordan, Chair of the LCLD Talent Development Committee, and to all committee members, for the continuing success and expansion of the Fellows Program. The graduation of the first class and the inaugural sessions of the second class took place at the Ritz-Carlton/Philadelphia March 27-29. For more photos, click here.

Still Time to Sign Up for NYC Regional Meeting

On April 17, LCLD and the legal media group, ALM, will present a prestigious panel on legal diversity issues in the New York City area. The meeting will be led by LCLD Chair Rick Palmore and by ALM Editor-in-Chief Aric Press, and co-hosted by A.B. Culvahouse, Chair of O'Melveny & Myers and Sandra Leung, General Counsel of Bristol-Myers Squibb. Panelists include:

  • Sharon Bowen, Partner, Latham & Watkins LLP
  • Michael Fricklas, General Counsel, Viacom
  • Eric Friedman, Executive Partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, Flom
  • Louise Parent, General Counsel, American Express
  • Amy Schulman, General Counsel, Pfizer

The Program, "If I Can Make It Here..." will be held 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., April 17, 2012, at the Hilton New York.

Two more regional LCLD meetings will occur in Chicago, June 28, and San Francisco, August 8. For more details or to rsvp, e-mail Barbara Roberts.

This Month's Big Number

1,382 *

* The number of Mentors and Mentees who have signed up for the LCLD Law School Mentoring Program. For more about this dramatic success, click here.

Congratulations ...

...to Laura Stein, LCLD Board Member and General Counsel for Clorox, honored by the National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) for "...her many years of service as a champion for pro bono assistance."

And to...

...Rhea F. Law, LCLD Member, and CEO and Chair of the Board of Fowler White Boggs, winner of the 2012 Glass Ceiling Award given by the Florida Diversity Council.

And to ...

...Michele Mayes, LCLD Board Member and Allstate General Counsel, who is being honored by the National Center for Law and Economic Justice "...for her decades of service to the legal profession, particularly for her unwavering efforts on behalf of attorneys of color." Fellow honorees are Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Service; and Robert Greenstein, founder and President of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

And to ...

...Sandy Leung, LCLD Board Member and General Counsel of Bristol-Myers Squibb, recipient of the Corporate Leadership Award, to be given in May by Legal Services NYC.

A Quote to Consider

"Diversity talk in America today is superficial and largely tactical . . . We can no longer afford the luxury of intellectual laziness but must think more deeply and systematically about what diversity means, how it should be managed, and how law and other social processes can best contribute to that endeavor."

- Peter Schuck (Professor Emeritus of Law and Adjunct Professor at Yale Law School). Quoted by Eli Wald, professor of legal ethics at the University of Denver Sturm School of Law, in "A Primer on Diversity, Discrimination, and Equality in the Legal Profession or Who is Responsible for Pursuing Diversity and Why," (2011)

New LCLD Members

  • Rivero Mestre - Andres Rivero, Managing Partner
  • Wells Fargo & Company - James M. Strother, General Counsel
  • GlaxoSmithKline - Daniel E. Troy, General Counsel
  • Lee, Hong, Degerman, Kang & Waimey - Stephen T. Waimey, Managing Partner

In Appreciation: John Payton, Civil Rights Figure

The Board of Directors of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity notes with sadness the passing on March 22 of attorney John Payton, 65, president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

From a statement by President Barack Obama:

"A true champion of equality, John Payton helped protect civil rights in the classroom and at the ballot box. The legal community has lost a legend, and while we mourn John's passing, we will never forget his courage and fierce opposition to discrimination in all its forms."

Link to The New York Times obituary.