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.

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1. Outstanding Voices: Microsoft President Brad Smith a Vocal Advocate for LGBTQ

Puget Sound Business Journal, 5/27/16

Brad Smith, LCLD Board Chair and President of Microsoft Corp., was profiled for his support of LGBTQ rights both at and out of Microsoft. Support of marriage equality and other LGBTQ rights is crucial for business, Smith said, and business leaders have a responsibility to be vocal about that. “For a business to succeed in today’s global marketplace, it must recognize that its customers are as diverse as the people of the world,” he said. “And we need a workforce that reflects that diversity.” 

2. OnRamp Program for Women Expands In-House

Corporate Counsel, 5/26/16

LCLD Member organizations Microsoft Corp. and Bank of America are two of three companies signed up for the corporate pilot of OnRamp In-House. The OnRamp Fellowship launched in 2014 with programming for women returning to law and finance jobs after career breaks; this year, the program moves beyond law firms to corporate legal departments. Selected women will participate in a one-year, paid fellowship with a participating law department, along with career counseling and training in negotiations, project management, and other skills. 

3. Diversity Scorecard: Minorities Make Small Gains in Big Law

The American Lawyer, 5/23/16

Minorities make up 8.22 percent of lawyers working at AmLaw 200 firms, up from 7.7 percent in 2015, according to the 2016 Diversity Scorecard. LCLD Member firms Munger Tolles & Olson and Cleary Gottlieb were among the top 10 firms for their percentage of minority lawyers. The largest increase in minority lawyers came from Hispanic and Asian-American nonpartners, and Latino lawyers now make up 3.48 percent of all surveyed lawyers, compared to 3 percent for African Americans. Read the full report here.  

4. Fish & Richardson Launches New Website to Support Next Generation Courtroom Experience

MarketWired, 5/26/16

Young lawyers have fewer “stand-up” courtroom opportunities as fewer cases go to trial, senior attorneys receive incentives for handling arguments, and clients prefer to have senior lawyers handling the trials. So LCLD Member firm Fish & Richardson created to help young attorneys gain more courtroom experience. The site will a growing list of judicial orders, as fewer associates are now given time in court, as well as news stories, in-depth articles, and seminars. The firm collaborated with the Federal Circuit Bar Association and ChIPs, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to advancing women in law and technology.