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. Microsoft Deepens Longstanding Commitment to Philanthropy With Expanded Vision, New Organization

Microsoft on the Issues, 12/15/15

LCLD Member organization Microsoft Corp. is expanding its commitment to global philanthropy through a new organization, as detailed in a blog post by LCLD Board Chair and Microsoft President Brad Smith. The goals of Microsoft Philanthropies include increasing access to STEM education and creating digital literacy programs worldwide. Inclusion will also be a key facet of the organization, Smith wrote, including particular focus on youth, low-income communities, and those with disabilities. 

2. The Rise of the Legal Industry’s Project Management Office

Bloomberg BNA, 12/15/15

Changes in the legal profession in the last decade have led forward-thinking law firms to develop project management offices, including LCLD Member firm Goodwin Procter LLP. Long a staple in the corporate world, PMOs are becoming crucial for law firms who want to invest in new technologies, manage risk, optimize data, and increase efficiency. Goodwin Procter views PMOs as providing “an opportunity for more collaboration between law firms and corporate legal departments to help drive true innovation and change within our rapidly evolving industry.” 

3. The Justices Revisit Race

The National Law Journal, 12/14/15

Race comes before the Supreme Court in two cases this month, one looking at affirmative action and the other at legislative redistricting. An attorney from LCLD Member firm Latham & Watkins LLP argued in favor of keeping affirmative action, at least for the present, saying, “As soon as we can achieve sufficient numbers for the education benefit of diversity without taking race into account, we will no longer take race into account,” but that “now is not the time.” The court is also looking at whether and how race affected Texas redistricting.

4. Social Background Determines Career Prospects, Say Almost Nine Out of Ten Law Students

LegalWeek, 12/10/15

Nine out of 10 law students think their social background will have an influence on their career, according to a recent survey. Students were also largely in favor of “CV blind” recruiting, as they believe it provides a better chance for diversity. Envisioning the law firms of the future, students predict more roles (even in leadership) for non-lawyers, and believe soft skills, project management, and leadership training will be increasingly important. 

5. As Muslim-American Parents, We’re Struggling to Keep Our Kids’ Faith Innocent

The Washington Post, 12/16/15

Two Muslim-American lawyers describe the difficulties of raising children to respect their religion in a culture that fears and distorts it. “In the America we grew up in, our parents did not discuss radicalism, terrorism, or Islamophobia with us because they never had to; those narratives weren’t yet present,” they write. But today those conversations are necessary; one author, a religious liberties lawyer, writes that she wants her “children’s faith to nurture an appreciation of diverse cultures.”