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. At American Bar Association Meeting, Renewed Call for Diversity Among GCs

Bloomberg BNA, 8/8/16

LCLD Board Members Mark Roellig, of MassMutual Financial Services, and Karen Roberts, of WalMart Stores, Inc., and LCLD Member Kim Rivera, of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, were among the Fortune 500 general counsel who called upon law firms to more closely scrutinize their diversity demographics and inclusion policies. “I’m not telling you how to run your business, I’m telling you as a consumer of your services – this is my expectation and if you are not willing to meet it, we are not going to use you,” Roberts said. The ABA's Diversity & Inclusion 360 Commission has launched a diversity survey and several other resources to promote greater diversity in the profession.

2. Littler Program Promoting Diverse Associates Sees Some Success

The American Lawyer, 7/29/16

In just three years, a diversity program at LCLD Member firm Littler Mendelson, P.C. has decreased attrition of participating women and minority associates by about 15 percent. Seven participating associates have also been promoted to partner. Components of the program include pairing talented associates with leading partners or general counsel at client companies, who can act as mentors and sponsors. LCLD Member Cornell Boggs, General Counsel at Dow Corning Corp., acted as a mentor to 2016 Fellow Edward Chyun, an associate-turned-partner at Littler.  

3. MassMutual Program Introduces Students to Law Careers

Business West, 8/9/16

LCLD Member organization MassMutual Financial Services hosted 40 high school students for its Summer Legal Institute; students learned about the legal system and were coached by MassMutual attorneys to put together arguments for a mock trial at the end of the weeklong session. Students also had opportunities to work on critical thinking, public speaking, professional etiquette, and networking skills. “The idea is for the legal community to work together to form a pipeline of diverse candidates who are underrepresented in the legal profession,” said Mark Roellig, LCLD Board Member and General Counsel of MassMutual.

4. Goodbye to ‘Honeys’ in Court, by Vote of American Bar Association

The New York Times, 8/9/16

Following an amendment to the American Bar Association’s ethics rule, comments or actions that single out someone on the basis of race, religion, disability, and other factors are now considered professional misconduct. The push came from female lawyers who brought attention to pervasive sexism in the courtroom. Moving forward, state bar associations will determine penalties for violations, ranging from fines to suspension. 

5. Why Your Diversity Program May Be Helping Women but Not Minorities (or Vice Versa)

Harvard Business Review, 8/8/16

A study of diversity statements at 151 big law firms found that women and minorities respond differently to different diversity approaches. “The more firms emphasized the value in difference approach, the lower the rates of attrition among women, whereas the more firms emphasized the value in equality approach, the lower the rates of attrition among racial minorities.” This means organizations need to consider who they are targeting and how different minority groups are currently represented in the workforce, or perhaps consider emphasizing both value in difference and value in equality.

6. Research: Keeping Work and Life Separate is More Trouble Than It’s Worth

Harvard Business Review, 8/9/16

“New research suggests that maintaining strict distinctions between work roles and home roles might actually be what is causing our feelings of stress to set in. Instead of leaving work at the office and home at the door, integrating both might be a better strategy for enhancements in well-being and performance.” Stress results from the cognitive transition between a work role and a home role – the more separate the roles, the bigger the transition. The study suggests that when one's roles overlap more, less energy is expended making those cognitive transitions.