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. Chambers Women in Law Awards 2015 – Winners Announced

Chambers Diversity, 6/4/15

The following LCLD affiliates received awards from the Chambers Women in Law Awards USA:

  • S. Jeanine Conley, 2015 Fellow, Outstanding Contribution to Furthering the Advancement of Minority Lawyers
  • Amanda Edwards, LCLD Mentor at Bracewell & Giuliani, Future Leader (Private Practice)
  • Sidley Austin LLP, Most Pioneering Gender Diversity Initiative (Firm)
  • Morrison & Foerster LLP, Most Valuable Mentoring Program for Women Lawyers (Firm)
  • Greenberg Traurig LLP, Most Inclusive Firm for Minority Women Lawyers (Firm)
  • Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, Corporate Social Responsibility Programme of the Year (Firm)
  • K&L Gates LLP, Outstanding Firm for Furthering Women’s Advancement (Firm) 

2. Program for Asian American General Counsel Expands to Further Address Career Concerns

Inside Counsel, 6/8/15

LCLD Member firm Shearman & Sterling is co-hosting a West Coast Asian American GC Roundtable to create a frank dialogue on how to further the careers of Asian-American attorneys. The program comes after a recent report that finds Asian Americans are underrepresented as executives in the Silicon Valley workforce; additionally, only 13 general counsel of Fortune 500 companies (or about 2.6 percent) were Asian American in 2013. 

3. Directing Next-Level Diversity

Inside Counsel, 5/28/15

The legal department at LCLD Member corporation Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has been tasked with driving the company’s business initiatives and corporate diversity programs. Tactics include partnering with more diverse outside counsel and programs to build relationships between corporate counsel and women outside counsel. A combination of top-down and grassroots diversity efforts are key to achieving true diversity, according to Wal-Mart’s associate general counsel. 

4. Support for Same-Sex Marriage at Record High, but Key Segments Remain Opposed

Pew Research Center, 6/8/15

As the Supreme Court prepares to decide a key case involving states’ requirements to recognize same-sex marriage, public support for allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally continues its rapid rise: a 57 percent majority of Americans now favor allowing same-sex marriage. As recently as five years ago, more opposed same-sex marriage than supported it. Additionally, 72 percent say legal recognition is “inevitable.” However, opposition remains among white evangelical Protestants and Republicans. 

5. Black Women: Ready, Willing, and More Than Able to Lead

Inside Counsel, 6/8/15

Black women are more likely than white women to strive for powerful positions, are more confident in their own success, and are more likely to be leaders in their community – yet their capacity for and display of leadership is often overlooked.

  • Formalize sponsorship, in order to give black women greater visibility and connection to opportunities with top executives.
  • Include managers in programming, to help black women feel more comfortable expressing details of their outside life at work – like leadership roles in their community.
  • Combat unconscious bias, as black women are often hindered by unwritten rules about executive presence and other perceived leadership norms of which they are unaware.

6. Barnard College, After Much Discussion, Decides to Accept Transgender Women

The New York Times, 6/4/15

Barnard College announced last week that it will begin accepting transgender women, concluding (for a time) a complex discussion on institutional acceptance and gender identity. For example, Barnard has decided not to accept transgender men, (those who were assigned female at birth but who identify as men at the time of application), as well as students who identify as neither gender. But other women's colleges, like Mount Holyoke College, have agreed to accept trans men because they can still identify with sexism and other gender-specific experiences.