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, articles you'd like to share, of if you would like to subscribe, please email Caitlin Puffenberger at

1. Rick Palmore LCLD Fellows Alumni Award 

LCLD Communications

2012 Fellow Yvette Gatling and 2011 Fellow Kamran Khan received the Second Annual Rick Palmore LCLD Fellows Alumni Award at last week’s Alumni conference. The award recognizes their commitment to furthering diversity in the profession and to the LCLD Fellows Program. 

2. Lessons from a Nonprofit Mission

Modern Counsel, July 2016

Cynthia Gibson, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer at Scripps Networks Interactive, discussed her work with the United Way and how it has impacted her career. “I acquired leadership skills that later translated into the business world,” she said. “I learned how to lead people when making difficult decisions.” Cynthia serves on the Board of Trustees for United Way of America and is the former Chair of the United Way National Women’s Leadership Council.

3. 5 Big Gender Parity Ideas from the Stanford Law Conference

Bloomberg Law, 6/27/16

Nine teams presented innovative ideas on how to improve gender equality in the legal profession at last week’s Women in Law Hackathon. All three winning teams included attorneys from LCLD Member firms. The winning ideas were: 

  • Solutions to Measure Advance and Reward Talent, an objective, transparent method for evaluating attorneys and assigning compensation that includes metrics like “advancing diversity” and works on a rolling basis.
  • Enlisting clients to help develop women attorneys by creating a dialogue about relationship partners, succession planning, and more.
  • “The Five Year Moment,” a 20-point business development plan to guide lawyers through the years directly before and after achieving partnership.
  • Adapting the NFL’s Rooney Rule to require diverse slates for seven key leadership roles/opportunities (Crowd Favorite).

4. Study Finds a ‘Gavel Gap’ Between Diversity of Judges and That of the Populations They Serve

ABA Journal, 6/23/16

There are gaps in the diversity of state court judges across the country, according to a recent report from the American Constitution Society. Women make up 51 percent of the population, but only 30 percent of state court judges, while racial minorities are 40 percent of the population and 20 percent of state judges. State courts are where most Americans interact with the justice system, the author of the study says, and people distrust the system when they don’t see themselves represented there. 

5. Is Work-Life Balance a Hopeless Goal in the Legal Profession?

Corporate Counsel, 6/22/16

The future of the legal profession depends on a healthier understanding of work-life balance, including its effects on both women and men. “Generation Y already has made it clear that the flawed work ethic of the prior generation is not acceptable to them. If these young people consistently refuse to go into professions like law because they are afraid of the traditional lifestyle, and the requisite choices that will negatively impact the balance of their lives, we all will lose.”

6. OpEd: Affirmative Action is About the Economic Bottom Line, Not Just Racial Diversity

The Washington Post, 6/25/16

The Supreme Court’s decision that universities may use race as a factor in their admissions supports diversity on college campuses, but it has much broader implications as well. “By 2020, 65 percent of all jobs will require some higher education and training, an increase from 28 percent in 1973… But fewer African Americans (29 percent), Latinos (21 percent), and Native Americans (24 percent) obtain college degrees compared to whites (45 percent)… In today’s increasingly diverse society and globally-interconnected world, diversity and access to opportunity is just as much an economic imperative as a social one.” 

7. Artificial Intelligence’s White Guy Problem

The New York Times, 6/25/16

 “Like all technologies before it, artificial intelligence will reflect the values of its creators. So inclusivity matters – from who designs it to who sits on the company boards and which ethical perspectives are included.” A lack of diversity in engineers creating new AI technologies has implications for consumer products and advertising, but also more serious implications.  Software-based risk assessments used by judges are flagging black defendants as more likely to commit future crimes; predictive policing tools can lead to overpolicing (and disproportionate arrests) in nonwhite urban neighborhoods; and women are seeing fewer advertisements for high-paying jobs online.