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. Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) To See Record Attendance at Sixth Annual Meeting

Business Wire, 9/28/15

LCLD’s Sixth Annual Meeting in Chicago last week had the highest attendance in the organization’s history, with 245 general counsel, managing partners, Fellows Alumni, and other diversity leaders gathering to discuss the future of the legal profession and LCLD. Board Chair Brad Smith also shared some key data points that reflect the organization’s success:

  • 90 percent of Fellows say LCLD has been valuable in enhancing their relationships with leaders of their organizations.
  • Nearly half of Fellows have referred work to one another.
  • 90 percent of 1L Scholars who have graduated are now employed in full-time jobs for which bar admission is required. 

2. 2015 Women Leaders in Tech Law: Bobbie Wilson

The Recorder, 10/2/15

Bobbie Wilson, 2013 LCLD Fellow and Partner at Perkins Coie, was named a 2015 Woman Leader in Tech Law. In her acceptance speech, she shared the importance of mentoring in her decision to become an IP lawyer, thanking “the people who did not assume that because I did not look like a nerdy patent lawyer…that I couldn’t do the work.” 

3. Six BigLaw Firms Join Fellowship Program for Women Re-entering the Practice 

ABA Journal, 9/25/15

LCLD Member firms Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Morrison & Foerster are among six large firms participating in OnRamp Fellowship, a program that places female lawyers in law firms and in-house departments after a hiatus. OnRamp Fellows receive a stipend and a six-month to one-year job at a member firm or in-house department. The fellowship is designed to help women with leadership potential better acclimate to the work environment after significant time off. 

4. Employees Like Flexible Work Programs—But Few Use Them

The Wall Street Journal, 9/30/15

Women remain underrepresented at every level in corporations, according to a new study from LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Co. Flexible work arrangements can be helpful, but fewer than 12 percent of employees take advantage of reduced scheduling or programs aimed at smoothing maternity-leave transitions. Ninety percent of both men and women said they feared stopping work for six months would hurt their position. See the rest of the Journal’s Women in the Workplace report here

5. Education Gap Between Rich and Poor is Growing Wider

The New York Times, 9/22/15

College degrees are a necessity for upward mobility, yet higher education is increasingly reserved for the wealthy. “Only 5 percent of Americans ages 25-34 whose parents didn’t finish high school have a college degree. By comparison, the average across 20 rich countries…is almost 20 percent.” Children of less educated parents who early on quickly fall behind as they are at greater risk of obesity and emotional problems and lack access to tutors, extracurricular activities, and music and art programs. Other countries have succeeded in narrowing the education gap with policies that move beyond helping schools and teachers to helping parents. 

6. We Need Both Networks and Communities

Harvard Business Review, 10/5/15

Both networks and communities are important for business, but it’s crucial to understand the distinction between the two. “Effective companies function as communities of human beings, not collections of human resources. Of course, all companies need robust networks, to communicate among their parts as well as connect to the outside world…. But far more crucial is the need for collaboration, and that requires a strong sense of community in the organization.”