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. Jerry Kang, UCLA’s New Diversity Ambassador

KoreAm, 7/1/15

Law professor and scholar Jerry Kang, who has partnered with LCLD in the past, was recently asked to fill a new position at UCLA, Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. He has done extensive research on implicit bias and the law, affirmative action, and stereotype threat; and co-directed the school’s Critical Race Studies program. In his new role, Kang will help provide strategic planning, policy analysis, community relations, and discrimination prevention for the university. Watch a presentation he did for LCLD in 2013 here

2. The 2015 Associates' Survey: Happier Than Ever

The American Lawyer, 8/31/15

This year's survey of midlevel associates found that their level of satisfaction has increased from past years. A smaller talent pool, due to layoffs and decreased law school enrollment in past years, has pushed firms to work harder to retain their associates. The survey also found a strong correlation between associates' level of satisfaction and their firms' use of technology, likely because of the increased ability to work remotely. LCLD Member firm Paul Hastings had the highest average score, closely followed by Member firms Cozen O'ConnorO'Melveny & Myers, and Blank Rome.

3. Differentiating Diversity Goals from Quotas in the Legal Profession

Above the Law, 9/4/15

Diversity professionals and other leaders are divided on whether targets (aspirational goals) or quotas (mandated outcomes) are the best way to promote diversity. The author offered these suggestions for creating successful diversity goals:

  • Quotas can have negative effects on workplace culture, as many believe they contradict the merit system, and there is little evidence of their impact on unconscious bias.
  • For targets to be achievable, they must be paired with a strategy that establishes both governance and accountability.
  • Board and management need to make diversity a part of their daily agenda, paying close attention to whether and how targets are being achieved.

4. Silicon Valley, Seeking Diversity, Focuses on Blacks

The New York Times, 9/3/15

African Americans are the least represented group in the tech workforce; they make up 6 percent of STEM workers, compared to 11 percent of the total workforce. At several major tech companies, only 1 percent of workers are black. A variety of efforts are being made to improve these numbers, from grassroots initiatives to Congressional- and White House-led programs, focusing on everything from the STEM pipeline to promoting entrepreneurship.