Welcome to the LCLD Connections newsletter! This newsletter is primarily for attorney Mentors and student Mentees participating the LCLD Success in Law School Mentoring Program, but it's also aimed at keeping others affiliated with the Program up to date on activities and resources. If this is the first Connections newsletter you've received, we welcome your feedback!
As many of you are well aware, a new school year is upon us. I hope that this edition of Connections will provide some new resources to attorneys and students alike as they reconnect after a summer off!
-Sarah Wintle, Pipeline Programs Manager
In This Issue:
- Welcome Law School Contacts!
- It's Not Too Late to Enroll As a Mentor
- The Unseen Depths of Diversity: A Catalyst for More Inclusion - Guest Column
- Important Resources for Mentors and Mentees
- Articles of Interest
- New Contact Information?
Welcome Law School Contacts!
During the spring and summer, it became clear that we needed to begin including our law school contacts as part of the Connections newsletter distribution. After all, these contacts play an integral role in getting information to students about the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Success in Law School Mentoring Program, so why shouldn't we get more information to them? Why have we not done this sooner?
In the majority of cases, the City Lead in each city is the primary contact for folks at the local law school and that will continue to be the case (for a list of City Leads, visit the LCLD website here). By including law school folks on the Connections newsletter distribution, we hope to keep you better informed about the LCLD Success in Law School Mentoring Program but also about the work being done by LCLD more generally.
For more information about the LCLD Success in Law School Mentoring Program, please visit the LCLD website here. For more general information about LCLD and the great work we do, please visit the LCLD website homepage.
It's Not Too Late to Enroll As a Mentor!
We've spent a good portion of the summer enrolling Mentor attorneys in the LCLD Success in Law School Mentoring Program and we're not done yet! Since the winter of 2012, the LCLD Success in Law School Mentoring Program has matched more than 1,400 Mentor attorneys to an equal number of students in more than 30 cities across the U.S. As the program continues to grow, we want to encourage you and members of your organization to get involved in the 2013-14 program, which will launch this fall.
Have you had a Mentee in the past and are you interested in a new one?
Do you have a Mentee now but want to take on an additional one?
Do you know people in your office who you think might be a good fit for the Program?
If you answered yes to any of the above, keep reading!
- For more information about the program and what is expected of participants, please visit the LCLD website here.
- For information about the cities where we are seeking Mentor attorneys, please visit the LCLD website here.
- Finally, to enroll as a Mentor or to enroll Mentors from your organization, please visit the attorney enrollment page.
Please note: If you participated as a Mentor in 2011-12 or 2012-13 and intend to continue working with your current Mentee, you do not need to enroll in the program again. However, if you would like to be assigned a new Mentee for the 2013-2014 academic year, please follow the link above to re-register.
If you have questions about the program or about enrollment, please contact Sarah Wintle.
The Unseen Depths of Diversity: A Catalyst for More Inclusion - Guest Column
By Jami de Lou
The depth of an individual's diversity is often not explicitly visible or exclusively defined by checking the proverbial self-identification box. With the growth in interracial marriages, multiracial children, interracial adoptions, the increase in same-sex parents, divorce, remarriage (i.e., step/bonus parents), and/or single parenting (by choice or circumstance), families and their individual members, are more multifaceted than ever before. Consider the Cheerios commercial featuring a biracial child with a White mother and Black/African American father. (If you have not seen it or heard about the controversy, it is available on YouTube.) Lets put aside the discussion of racism in the U.S. in 2013. Consider instead the importance of an increased understanding of the changing U.S. demographics to create opportunities, and perhaps restructure internal programming, that will draw out unseen diversity attributes and create greater inclusion.
From the U.S. Census to employee self-identification surveys, data is collected to track and report information. Understanding the impact of the data can help us better shape training and internal programming. According to the last U.S. Census, the fastest growing demographics in the United States are those who identify as two or more races. In the April/May 2012 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity, Andrea Williams states that, "The results are remarkable: From 2000 to 2010, the number of multiracial American children - who will soon be attending colleges and universities across the country - rose by almost 50% to 4.2 million, making it the fastest growing youth group."
This changing demographic not only tells us that we will have more individuals entering the workforce who identify as two or more races, but it also reminds us we are currently more likely to have employees who are part of a multiracial family dynamic. This is important as organizations consider programming and initiatives. As we seek to connect individuals with shared experiences, it will require thinking further outside the box - in particular, as it pertains to creating affinity groups/employee resource groups and teaching intercultural competency.
The family in the Cheerios commercial is a representation of the changing demographics, so much so that there was an outpouring of support from families thrilled that a commercial finally shows a family that looks like their own. In an October 2009 TED Talk titled, The Danger of a Single Story, novelist, Chimamanda Adichi sums it up well by saying, "So that is how to create a single story. Show a people as one thing, as only one thing - over and over again, and that is what they become." We have the unique opportunity to be the catalyst that helps others see past the "single story" and instead consider the "depth of diversity" of the talent within our organizations. It is essential that we look for opportunities to increase intercultural competency within our organizations and seek more ways to draw out what is often hidden.
Author Notes: Jami de Lou is the Diversity & Inclusion Manager at Jenner & Block LLP. Ms. de Lou received her B.A. in History from University of California Los Angeles and her M.A. in Speech and Interpersonal Communications from New York University.
Important Resources for Mentors and Mentees
We've highlighted various resources in this newsletter in the past but decided that the start of a new school year was a great opportunity to collect them in one place and make them available to Mentors and Mentees again!
LCLD Mentoring Toolkit
The LCLD Mentoring Toolkit was designed to provide a basic roadmap for the work that Mentors and Mentees do together over the course of their relationship. From guiding principles to setting goals for your work together, we think these tools can help tremendously to make your relationship a successful one. For more information, visit theLCLD Mentoring Toolkit.
12 Months of Diversity & Inclusion Opportunities
LCLD would like to ensure that all student Mentees have access to as much information as possible with respect to opportunities in the law, and as a result, we are making available a resource called 12 Months of Diversity & Inclusion Opportunities. Note that the opportunities listed in this resource are organized by the month in which the application is due. Please be sure to review opportunities well in advance of deadlines to ensure you have time to submit a competitive application. To access this listing of opportunities, please click here to download the document. For specific questions about individual opportunities, please contact the organization associated with each listing.
Often times individual sections of the LCLD website are highlighted for the purpose of bringing attention to certain programs or resources. What is often overlooked is the broad spectrum of activities in which LCLD is involved. With that in mind, we simply encourage you to take a few minutes to explore the whole website! You can find more information about who is a Member of LCLD, what other programs are available to students, and upcoming events that may be in your city. We think you'll like what you find! www.lcldnet.com
Articles of Interest
LCLD is committed to providing supporting resources to Mentors and Mentees participating in the Success in Law School Mentoring Program. With that in mind, we're going to begin providing links in the Connections newsletter to articles that may be of interest to both Mentors and Mentees. If you find articles about the mentoring experience that you think may be of interest to others, please forward them to Sarah Wintle for inclusion in upcoming newsletters.
By Vivia Chen, The Careerist Chief Blogger
The Careerist (a lawjobs.com blog); August 1, 2013
By Jim Calloway, Director of the Oklahoma Bar Association Management Assistance Program & John W. Simek, Vice President of Sensei Enterprises Inc.
ABA Law Practice Magazine; July-August 2013; Volume 39, Number 4
By Judith N. Collins, NALP Director of Research
NALP Bulletin; September 2013, pgs 8-9
By Richard Susskind, President of the Society for Computers and Law, IT Adviser to the Lord Chief Justice of England and Chair of the Advisory Board of the Oxford Internet Institute
ABA Law Practice Magazine; July-August 2013; Volume 39, Number 4
New Contact Information?
With several thousand individuals now involved in the mentoring program, LCLD must constantly work to keep Mentor and Mentee contact information up-to-date. If you have updates to your contact information, especially an email address, please send it to Sarah Wintle. Likewise, for Mentors, if you're planning a move to a new firm or corporate law department, please let us know so that we are able to keep you informed after your move!