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. Hispanic National Bar Association: President’s Award Winners

HNBA, 10/22/15

LCLD Member Kurt Tunnell was a recipient of the Hispanic National Bar Association’s President’s Award, recognized for his leadership of Bricker & Eckler and spearheading the award-winning Columbus Bar Association Managing Partner Diversity Initiative. 2014 Fellow Marilyn McClure-Demers was also honored for her leadership in legal diversity at Nationwide and her involvement in the community. 

2. Will Law Firm Leaders Get Involved in this Diversity Initiative?

Bloomberg BNA, 11/10/15

Led by Diversity Lab and Stanford Law School, the “Women in Law Hackathon” competition will encourage teams to draw up innovative plans for advancing and retaining women lawyers between January and June of 2016. The effort coincides with a recent challenge from LCLD Member Ricardo Anzaldua for law firm and in-house leaders to “own” the drive for inclusive workplaces, rather than delegating. Member firms Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, and Arnold & Porter LLP are already committed to participating in the hackathon.

3. Starbucks Has a New Employee Perk for Veterans and Their Families

Time Money, 11/10/15

LCLD Member organization Starbucks Coffee Company has expanded its offer to pay for college for its veteran employees to include their families. The company has hired more than 5,500 veterans and military spouses; through a partnership with Arizona State University, the company will pay full tuition for these employees and their families to earn bachelor’s degrees. 

4. Has ‘Diversity’ Lost Its Meaning?

The New York Times Magazine, 10/27/15

While the need for diversity in the workplace grows ever more apparent, the word itself “has become both euphemism and cliché, a convenient shorthand that gestures at inclusivity and representation without actually taking them seriously.” Despite increased attention to diversity, there has been little improvement in the ranks at many companies; the author wonders if leaders believe talking about diversity is the same as actually doing something about it. The challenge, she says, is to remember that improved diversity is not a goal, but a starting point for a more inclusive world. 

5. Justin Trudeau is Right, and How About a Quota for Women?

CNN, 11/5/15

Canada’s new Prime Minister made headlines for appointing a gender-neutral cabinet of 15 women and 15 men. When asked why, Trudeau said, “Because it’s 2015.” The author argues here that a quota system is the quickest way to achieve this kind of gender neutrality in leadership positions around the world, pointing to quota systems in Norway, France, and Germany that led to increased numbers of women in leadership positions. He adds that once countries start appointing more women, they tend to continue appointing high numbers of women – which in turn can lead to more effective boards, higher company performance, and greater innovation. 

6. Racial Slurs Are Woven Deep Into the American Landscape

Vocativ, 10/29/15

At least 1,441 federally recognized places across the nation have racial slurs in their official names, according to a recent data analysis. “Places with derogatory names exist in every state, though the largest clusters are in the West and the South,” with at least 558 place names slurring African Americans and 828 using the term “squaw.” The U.S. Board on Geographic Names, created in 1890, can vote to change place names, but only after a proposal has been submitted; only about 5 percent of the cases the board reviews address racist place names.