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

This week, in news related to diversity and inclusion...

1. Howard Schultz is Giving Employees Free College Educations – And is Ready for Criticism (Again)

LinkedIn Pulse, 4/6/15

LCLD Member Starbucks announced this week that it will expand its College Achievement Plan, a $200 million initiative that allows employees to earn a college degree through Arizona State University’s online coursework. The company expects to see at least 25,000 employees earning degrees in the next 10 years, according to CEO Howard Schultz. 

2. How General Counsel Can Drive Diversity

Law360, 4/6/15 

General counsel have the power to improve diversity both at their corporations and in law firms. GCs offer the following advice to encourage firms to become more diverse:

  • Be open with firms about why diversity is important and give real-world examples of how it pays off for your business.
  • Consider the cultural flexibility of outside counsel, especially when they will be working overseas. 
  • Help in-house counsel embrace their power as agents of change. For example, Microsoft Corp. gives bonuses to firms that meet diversity benchmarks, and the bonuses of senior corporate counsel are tied to the diversity of the firms.
  • Survey firms annually for typical diversity metrics, but also look at qualitative measures like work-life balance and corporate culture. 

3. Law School Diversity Improves at Schools With Worst Job Outcomes

The American Lawyer, 4/3/15

While overall diversity at law schools is improving, it is increasing the most at schools with the worst job outcomes. Law schools enrolling the highest proportions of minority students are also the schools with the lowest median LSAT scores, the lowest overall bar passage rates, and the highest percentage of unemployed students after graduation. The harder and less likely it is for minority law students to become successful lawyers, the lower the chance of a more diverse profession.

4. CEOs Need Mentors Too

Harvard Business Review, 4/1/15 

Mentoring programs are popular among junior and midlevel professionals, but those at the top can benefit from less structured arrangements as well. Mentors “can offer timely, context-specific counsel drawn from experience; wisdom; and networks that are highly relevant to the problems to be solved.” A relationship of trust, in which both individuals are committed to sharing stories of success and failure, can provide great insight for even the highest ranking corporate officers.