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. Nominate Your 2016 LCLD Fellows

LCLD, 12/2/15

LCLD Members are invited to nominate Fellows for their organizations now through Jan. 22, 2016. Click here to learn more about the Fellows Program, and click here to nominate a Fellow. 

2. Breaching the Norm – Inside the "Inclusion" 

For the Defense, November 2015

John Arrastia, LCLD Member and Founding Partner at Arrastia Capote Partners LLP, discusses diversity and inclusion initiatives at his firm.  “I founded the firm with the idea of…making the minority the normal playing field,” he said. They do this by not only hiring diversely, but being discerning in their partnerships with other firms. More diversity can also be achieved, Arrastia says, if corporate clients expressly ask for diverse teams, and if law firms look for compensation models that encourage collaboration. 

3. Renée Delphin-Rodriguez Named General Counsel

BusinessWire, 12/1/15

2015 Fellow Renée Delphin-Rodriguez was named General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer at SynerMed, Inc. in Monterey Park, Calif., this week. She previously worked on acquisitions, joint ventures, and new market expansion at DaVita HealthCare Partners and was a corporate attorney at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP. 

4. New Numbers Show Legal Departments, Big Law Need to Improve Their Diversity

Inside Counsel, 11/25/15

The number of minorities who are general counsel of Fortune 500 companies dropped from 54 to 41 this year, according to a survey from the Minority Corporate Counsel Association. Additionally, one-in-four African-American chief legal officers left their posts. There are currently 25 African-American GCs, 11 Hispanics, and 15 Asian-Pacific Americans, 20 of whom are women. 

5. How Mark Zuckerberg’s Example Helps Fight the Stigma of Family Leave

The New York Times, 12/2/15

Facebook Co-Founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that he will take two months of paternity leave after the birth of his daughter, setting an important precedent for men, executives, and families. The number of American companies offering parental leave to men is growing slowly, but there is still a stigma surrounding extended leave for men. Research has found that in addition to policies and a supportive work culture, peer influence has a strong effect on men’s leave-taking. 

6. Proof That Positive Work Cultures Are More Productive

Harvard Business Review, 12/1/15

“A large and growing body of research on positive organizational psychology demonstrates that not only is a cut-throat environment harmful to productivity over time, but that a positive environment will lead to dramatic benefits for employers, employees, and the bottom line.” How? High-pressure companies have 50 percent higher health care expenditures because of the toll stress takes on their employees. Their employees also become increasingly disengaged from their work over time, which leads to more absences and errors, lower productivity, and greater turnover. Leaders can create more positive work environments by fostering social connections, being empathetic, and encouraging employees to speak up or ask for help.