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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Corporate Counsel, 11/15/16
Louise Pentland, LCLD Member and General Counsel of PayPal, Inc., has said she expects “meaningful” progress on diversity from firms that want to continue to receive PayPal's business. Pentland said it was important that firms not only place value on diversity but show sustained commitment to achieving it. For example, “maybe the relationship partner today is a man, but if you tell me you have a succession pipeline of three women, or two women and a man of color…I feel like you’re working to make a change,” she explained.
Microsoft on the Issues, 11/10/16
LCLD Member corporation Microsoft Corp. recognized LCLD Member firms K&L Gates LLP; Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP; and Perkins Coie LLP as top performers in its Law Firm Diversity Program. In the last year, the program was expanded to focus on increasing diversity among firm leadership. Among firms participating in the program, diverse representation on management committees increased about 3 percent overall; there was also a 1 percent improvement in the diversity of partners. Microsoft said firms reported the program “provided a real push to expand and refine their [diversity] efforts.”
Bloomberg BNA, 11/10/16
On Veterans Day, LCLD Member firm Jones Day LLP announced the upcoming launch of VetLex, a website that will connect veterans around the country with pro bono legal services in their area. The program will be “the first centralized, nationwide network dedicated to legal service referrals for veterans.” The firm will also offer a CLE program to train and certify any lawyers who want to participate.
Bloomberg Big Law Business, 11/16/16
Sixty percent of in-house attorneys said the overall diversity of outside counsel is important, but only 24 percent gave outside counsel high diversity ratings, in a recent survey by Big Law Business. The survey, which included both in-house and law firm attorneys, found that most thought the best way to close this gap in expectations and delivery of diversity was financial – either through bonuses or client pressure. This financial pressure also needs support from the top, respondents said: “Leadership, which is white male-dominated, needs to buy into diversity and consider it important, which they do not do at the moment.”
Harvard Business Review, 11/14/16
There is an “overwhelmingly negative” response to the concept of gender quotas among U.S. directors, both male and female, according to a recent study on gender quotas around the world. Yet directors in the U.S. also seem to realize that it will take some action on the part of the companies to make boards more equal. The research also found that “the imposition of gender quotas and goals resulted not just in greater diversity, but to a more professional and formal approach to board selection” as compared to the board selection process in the U.S., which relies heavily on social networks.