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. VIDEO: Big Law’s Race and Gender Problem

Bloomberg BNA, 8/24/15

In an interview at the Big Law Business Summit, LCLD Member Jami McKeon said race and gender balance in the profession is not where it should be, and that most firm leaders know their clients want diverse lawyers working on their matters. She notes that some top diverse lawyers leave firms to go in-house – which is good for the company and the world, but not for the firms. “We really have to reach further back into the pipeline…and give them tools to grow and prosper in the legal profession,” Jami said. 

2. Honeywell’s General Counsel-Latin America Is a Passionate Advocate for Women in Law

Profiles in Diversity Journal, 8/24/15

2013 Fellow Valeria Chapa-Garza was named a 2015 Woman Worth Watching by Diversity Journal. She was recognized in part for spearheading two programs for women lawyers and for her participation in LCLD. “Being a lawyer entails being a facilitator and a bridge for others to communicate and resolve differences,” she said in the interview. “My profession is a tool to help people find common ground and trust each other.” Click here to read more about her most recent endeavor, Abogadas MX. 

3. Drive Business Forward with Reverse Mentoring

Chief Learning Officer, 8/20/15

LCLD Member organizations General Electric Company and The Walt Disney Company are featured as successful examples of reverse mentoring in a corporate setting. Departure from traditional mentoring methods can provide benefits for both up-and-coming and existing leaders. Younger employees gain insight and skills in a more open environment, while existing leaders get a new perspective on their profession and insight into new trends and innovations. 

4. Giving Women a Fair Go is an Achievable Goal

The Australian Business Review, 8/21/15

In Australia, women make up 63 percent of the legal profession at lower levels, yet only 10 percent of senior appointments, despite a variety of initiatives aimed at promoting and retaining women lawyers. The Law Council of Australia is designing a more holistic approach, combining resources, policies, guidelines, and practical examples on issues like parental leave and flexible work arrangements. The Council also calls upon leadership to emphasize the business case for diversity and work both internally and externally to promote women in the profession. 

5. Too Many Law Students, Too Few Legal Jobs

The New York Times, 8/25/15

Only 60 percent of the law school class of 2014 found full-time jobs in the first 10 months are graduation, and law student debt has increased by at least 25 percent since 2006. Yet declining law school enrollment has not been keeping pace with these changes. Author Steven Harper argues that “Until student loans bear a rational relationship to individual school outcomes, law schools will exploit their lack of accountability, the legal education market will remain dysfunctional, and equilibrium between supply and demand will remain elusive.”

6. What Facebook’s Anti-Bias Training Program Gets Right

Harvard Business Review, 8/24/15

In order to combat the business consequences of unconscious bias, Facebook implemented a course for employees that goes beyond the norm. The author lists three things a successful unconscious bias training must do:

  • Raise awareness and acceptance of the influence of bias.
  • Address the serious consequences of bias.
  • Teach employees exercises in resisting and overcoming implicit bias.