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. K&L Gates’ Kalis: The Six Key Challenges Facing Every Law Firm

The Lawyer, 10/13/15

Women, machines, and legal journalists are among the biggest agents of change for law firms, according to Pete Kalis, LCLD Board Member and Global Managing Partner of K&L Gates LLP. Law firms need to start being more proactive in several areas to avoid disruption, Kalis said. Pushing for diversity is one of the first changes law firms need to make, followed by effectively embracing technology, rethinking globalization and regulation, and adopting new trends in the profession. “I believe that the legal industry is one of the most highly competitive in the world,” Kalis said. “There is, however, nothing unique about is. If you don’t grapple with it, it will be disruptive…” 

2. Top Boutiques of 2015: Huang Ybarra Singer & May LLP

Daily Journal, 10/14/15

LCLD Member firm Huang Ybarra Singer & May LLP, which was founded by three LCLD Fellows Alumni, was named one of the top 25 boutique law firms in California. The firm just celebrated its one-year anniversary, but is already making waves as a top litigation firm. 2012 Fellow and Founding Partner Katherine Huang says much of the firm’s success is due to the experience of the partners, which includes litigating for Fortune 500 companies. 

3. In-House Lawyer Census: More Women, Working for Less and Practicing Globally

Corporate Counsel, 10/13/15

Women appear to be closing the gender gap as in-house counsel, with nearly half the 5,000-plus respondents to the 2015 ACC Global Census Report identifying as female. Yet other disparities still exist -- 69 percent of women earned less than $200,000, compared to only 56 percent of men, despite years of experience. About 17 percent of respondents identified as minorities, up from 12 percent in 2011. The census also noted that respondents from Spain and Israel showed the most job satisfaction, while respondents in Singapore and Brazil reported the least. 

4. History Class and the Fictions About Race in America

The Atlantic, 10/21/15

A growing number of educators are calling for changes in the way history is taught in American schools. Surveys have found that many students are still taught that states' rights and not slavery were the impetus for the Civil War, and that the fight for racial equality ended with the Civil Rights Movement; textbooks gloss over treatment of Native Americans and the slave trade. Critics of the current education system say students should be taught to analyze primary-source materials, learn early on to identify biases, and focus on less Eurocentric interpretations of history. “The United States is not a white nation,” writes historian and sociologist Jim Loewen. “It is time for us to give up our white history in favor of a more accurate history, based more closely on the historical record… Surely a great nation can afford that.” 

5. The Best Leaders Are Constant Learners

Harvard Business Review, 10/6/15

The modern world increasingly requires successful people to have “searchlight intelligence,” the ability to draw unlikely connections between people and ideas. “Leaders that stay on top of society’s changes do so by being receptive and able to learn. In a time where the half-life of any skill is about five years, leaders bear a responsibility to renew their perspective in order to secure the relevance of their organizations.” Leaders can do this by adopting “Personal Knowledge Mastery,” in which they constantly seek out new information, contextualize it, and then share it with their networks.