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. Mark Roellig: Roderick Palmore Pathmaker Award Winner


LCLD Board Member Mark Roellig was honored last week with the Transformative Leadership Awards’ Pathmaker Award, named after LCLD Founding Chair Emeritus Rick Palmore. He has greatly increased the diversity of his law department at MassMutual in his 10 years there, including developing a four-step diversity program, a standing diversity committee within the department, and a mentorship program. Roellig also led the company to take public positions on LGBT equality, be named one of the most ethical companies in the world, and many other distinctions. 

2. Questions About Progress and Failure Dominate Diversity Summit

Bloomberg BNA, 10/29/15

LCLD was well-represented at the Big Law Business Diversity and Inclusion Summit in Manhattan. Speakers included Board Members Ellen Dwyer and Michael Blair, and Members Tony West, Jami McKeon, Ian Graham, Kim Koopersmith, and Ricardo Anzaldua, as well as representatives from several other Member organizations. Key issues discussed included the business imperative for diversity, the importance of mentoring, and diversity in leadership.

3. Harvard Law Library Readies Trove of Decisions for Digital Age

The New York Times, 10/28/15

Harvard Law School is making a move to create a complete, searchable database of American case law available online for free, by digitizing all of their texts. The goal of the project is to improve access to justice according to Martha Minow, Dean of Harvard Law School and a keynote speaker at LCLD’s Annual Meeting in September, by providing crucial resources to lawyers and others who might not otherwise be able to afford them. 

4. Can Part-Time Work Succeed in Big Law?

The Daily Report, 10/29/15

Flexible work arrangements are frequently offered as a solution for work-life balance, but the particulars of programs and policies are more complicated. LCLD Member firm Alston & Bird LLP is commended for its 20 years of flexible work arrangements, which most recently led to several women becoming partners while on alternative schedules. 

5. Women Get Their Due If Rainmaker Credit Is Shared, Attorneys Say

Law360, 10/20/15

“BigLaw compensation systems that put strict limits on who can share rainmaking credit are among the toughest challenges faced by women partners seeking pay equity and leadership roles,” according to experts on a panel held by Flex Time Lawyers LLC. Partners from LCLD Member firms Norton Rose Fulbright and DLA Piper stressed the importance of policies that support collaboration, in which credit can be shared among multiple lawyers, because origination of credit translates to power and advancement within the firms.

6. When Is It Constitutional to Purge Black Jurors?

The Atlantic, 10/28/15

In 1986, the Supreme Court established a rule designed to prevent parties in a trial from using race-based strikes in jury selection. Yet evidence of racial discrimination in jury selection still exists, and the Court is being called to take a harsher position on peremptory strikes – perhaps eliminating them completely. 

7. How Working Parents Share Parenting and Household Responsibilities

Pew Research, 11/4/15

Both parents now work in 46 percent of two-parent households, according to a recent study from the Pew Research Center. Additional findings of note:

  • 54 percent of working parents say the mother still manages children’s schedules and activities
  • 56 percent say it is difficult to balance jobs and families (60 percent of mothers, 52 percent of fathers).
  • 41 percent of mothers and 20 percent of fathers say being a working parent has made career advancement more difficult.
  • White parents are more likely than non-white partners to say balancing work and family is difficult.