Demetra Liggins (2nd row, 3rd from left), pictured with the Fellows Class of 2012, holds the Owlie Fellows Alumni Community Service Award, which the Class of 2012 won this year. (Photo by Nabil Foster)

LCLD was founded after Rick Palmore, then Chief Legal Officer of General Mills, issued a clarion Call to Action that inspired America's top general counsel and managing partners to make diversity a priority for the legal profession.

In recognition of Palmore's extraordinary contributions, the Fellows Alumni in 2015 created the Rick Palmore Fellows Alumni Award, presented annually to one or more Alumni who have embodied Palmore's commitment to serving the community over the previous year. This year's winners are Yvette Gatling and Kamran Khan (photo, at bottom).

And now Palmore, as LCLD’s Founding Chair and Board Member Emeritus, has issued a new Call to Action, challenging the LCLD Fellows Alumni to do more for their communities.

Palmore has also raised the stakes for the LCLD Fellows Alumni by pledging to personally match up to $5,000 raised by Fellows Alumni during their annual alumni conference community outreach project. The benefitting charity will be chosen by the Alumni Conference Committee, which is planning the sixth annual conference for New York City in June of 2017.

Since its inception, the LCLD Fellows Alumni organization has had a strong commitment to community outreach. Guided by the Community Outreach Committee, the Fellows Alumni have consistently demonstrated their interest in building strong communities through initiatives like their annual food and toy drive.

More than 150 toys and clothing items, collected by New York area
Fellows Alumni for the Children’s Aid Society in 2013. (Photo by
Matt McFarlane)

Each year, the Alumni host a community service event in connection with their Alumni Conference, often focusing on youth in at-risk communities. In 2014, for example, the Fellows Alumni worked with the Overtown Youth Center in Miami. In 2015 the Alumni spent an afternoon mentoring children at the Youth Empowerment Project in New Orleans. And in 2016 they hosted a networking skills seminar for Chicago’s Albany Park Theater Project the day before the conference.

Alumni attending the conference can elect to donate their time and energy to interacting with the selected charity, and all Fellows Alumni—whether attending the conference or not—are asked to make a financial contribution. Donations have increased every year, but as Palmore says, “We can do better.”

To stimulate healthy competition, the Alumni Community Outreach Committee created the Owlie Award in 2015 to recognize the Fellows Alumni class with the highest percent of contributors, including both financial and in-person participation, to the community service project.

Rick Palmore (c) presents 2012 Fellow Yvette Gatling and 2011
Fellow Kamran Khan with the 2016 Rick Palmore LCLD Fellows
Alumni Award at this year’s Fellows Alumni Conference. (Photo
by Jay Haas)

The Fellows Alumni Class of 2012 won the award in both 2015 and 2016 by a landslide. This year, the Class of 2012 made a strong in-person showing and was responsible for 44 percent of all contributions, with a collective donation of $2,820. The Class of 2012 contributed more than twice the amount of the next highest contributing class.

In 2017, with a robust community of more than 1,000 Fellows Alumni, we anticipate even greater contributions and fierce competition among the classes. Driven by Palmore’s call to action and personal pledge, we are excited about the opportunity to make an even greater impact on the communities touched by the LCLD Fellows Alumni.