LCLD has received a $250,000 grant from Microsoft Corporation to support new and innovative programming.
The gift from Microsoft is the largest grant ever received by the five-year-old organization, according to Executive Director Robert J. Grey Jr.
“This is an extraordinary and very concrete expression of confidence in what this generation of leaders in the law is doing to change the very face of the profession,” said Grey. “This gift will enable us to expand and strengthen the programs we believe will advance the careers of the rising generation of diverse talent in our profession.”
LCLD, which is made up of the Managing Partners of the nation’s leading law firms and the General Counsel of Fortune 500 corporations, has taken on a multi-year “Talent to Leadership” commitment. Its programs reach diverse law students through mentoring and first-year (1L) initiatives and also provide career development and networking opportunities for attorneys who have been identified by their firms or corporate legal departments as rising leaders.
"Every time LCLD has invested in new things, it has created benefits for people that would have been difficult to predict or even imagine.” —Brad Smith
As of January 2014, LCLD’s programs have reached more than 4,000 law students through its nationwide mentoring effort, nearly 400 law students through its 1L Scholars program, and more than 500 diverse attorneys through its Fellows program.
“We decided at Microsoft to make a special $250,000 contribution to LCLD for one specific purpose—to help LCLD continue to innovate and grow,” said Brad Smith, Chair of the LCLD board of directors and General Counsel and Executive Vice President for Microsoft Corporation. “One of the hardest things in life for a nonprofit is to invest in new things. But every time LCLD has invested in new things, it has created benefits for people that would have been difficult to predict or even imagine.”
“It is critical that we identify strong diverse lawyers and create leadership opportunities for them,” Smith said. “Unless the legal profession makes faster progress, it will miss out on the dynamism and creativity that diversity brings. We need a legal profession that is as diverse as the country we serve – a prerequisite for healthy legal service for a democracy.”