Compiled for the LCLD Board of Directors every Wednesday, this digest is designed to brief you on the latest headlines about LCLD Members and organizations, as well as thought-provoking articles on diversity in the legal profession, talent development, mentoring, and leadership. Past issues of the Digest are also archived on the LCLD web site.
If you have questions about the Digest, or articles you'd like to share, please email Caitlin Puffenberger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week in news related to diversity and inclusion, a university recognized a third gender, an LCLD Member firm founded a new kind of civil rights project, and LCLD's President gave advice on finding a diverse law school.
LCLD Diversity Professional Ahmed J. Davis received the 2015 Diversity Leader Award from Profiles in Diversity Journal for promoting the importance of diversity for business success. Davis is chair of the firm’s Diversity Initiative and helped launch a 1L diversity fellowship, among other efforts to recruit and retain diverse lawyers.
The New York Times, 2/3/15
The University of Vermont now allows students who do not identify as male or female to choose a third gender, neutral. The university also allows students to choose a new name, whether or not they’ve legally changed it, and to choose their preferred pronoun (he/she/their). “Identifying as genderqueer is an opportunity to self-invent, unburdened from social expectations about dress and behavior,” the article states.
U.S. News and World Report, 2/2/15
Minorities are not strongly represented in 15 of the top law schools in the U.S., according to a recent report, and it can be difficult for minority students to find a school where they feel comfortable. LCLD President Robert Grey shares his own experience as a minority law student and advises prospective students to look at how much potential schools value diversity and how successful their minority graduates are.
Corporate Counsel, 1/30/15
A survey from the Association of Corporate Counsel found a significant disparity in compensation of male and female chief legal officers:
- Twenty-one percent of male CLOs make more than $600,000, compared to 14 percent of female CLOs.
- Women are 7 percent more likely than men to receive compensation less than $200,000.
While the number of countries with legal same-sex marriage is increasing, many companies are reluctant to show strong support of LGBT employees. Two openly gay executives offer this advice:
- Use inclusive policies and an inclusive attitude at the management level to help employees feel safe in the workplace.
- Multinational companies should make sure they have LGBT employee resource groups around the world.
- Increase the involvement of straight allies, especially from management.
The New York Times, 1/29/15
LCLD Member firm K&L Gates LLP recently started the Cyber Civil Rights Legal Project to offer legal aid to victims of “revenge porn,” a type of online harassment that involves the non-consensual posting of sexually explicit material. The program is believed to be the first of its kind in the U.S.
2011 Fellow Tracy Richelle High received the 2015 Diversity Trailblazer Award from the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion of the New York State Bar Association. High was the first African-American woman to become partner at Sullivan & Cromwell, the first woman to co-chair the firm’s Diversity Committee, and founded the Women’s Initiative Committee.
Overall numbers of minority attorneys have rebounded since the recession, and law firms are once again actively recruiting them. In 2009, minority attorneys made up 13.44 percent of the profession; in 2013, the number increased to 14.56 percent. LCLD Member firms Jones Day and Carlton Fields Jorden Burt are noted for their commitment to recruiting diverse lawyers. Both mention participation in LCLD and its programs as an important way to find talented minority lawyers and organizational awareness of diversity.