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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LCLD Communications, 11/10/16
LCLD Fellows learned about the leadership and innovation behind some of their favorite television channels at a recent Learning Experience hosted by Scripps Networks Interactive in Knoxville, Tennessee. Executives including Cynthia Gibson, LCLD Member and Chief Legal Officer, discussed the impact of diversity on creativity and ultimately, business operations. Gibson also gave Fellows much leadership advice: “Take concrete actions to make sure that everyone in the room feels welcome. If the room is mostly one of anything, the people who feel they are ‘others’ will not feel welcome to contribute to the conversation unless you intentionally make it an inclusive environment.”
The rapid growth of artificial intelligence raises many questions about ethics and the law – so LCLD Member firm K&L Gates LLP donated $10 million to Carnegie Mellon University to look into just that. “[The U.S. Constitution] says that every person should benefit from equal protection under the law,” said Peter Kalis, LCLD Board Member and firm Chairman. “Well, I don’t think anyone contemplated that person would include an artificially intelligent robot. Yet I hear people seriously maintaining that artificially intelligent robots ought to replace judges. When we get to that point, it’s a matter of profound constitutional and social consequence for any country, any nation which prizes the rule of law.”
Above the Law, 11/21/16
The new partner class at LCLD Member firm Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz is made up of two women and one openly gay man, reflecting the diversity the firm hopes to promote. “If you were to look at our promotions over recent years, you’d see that we hold our own relative to our peers in diversity,” said a source from the firm. LCLD Member firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP also notably had a new partner class comprised entirely of women.
Harvard Business Review, 11/16/16
As the pace of business speeds up, “slow and steady” isn’t always the most effective method of leadership – but as leaders challenge their companies to be more agile, they must be careful not to sacrifice quality. An assessment of 75,000 leaders found seven unique factors of successful leaders who work both quickly and effectively. The traits included ability to provide clear strategic perspective; courage to change; and ability to inspire and motivate others.
The Legal Intelligencer, 11/15/16
Gender inequality in the partnership ranks is certainly cause for concern, but those statistics don’t capture the many important ways women lawyers can (and already do) contribute to their firms, write three female partners at Pepper Hamilton. Becoming revenue generators, for example, can give women lawyers independence and freedom within the firm, a say in firm and practice group decision-making, and opportunities to pay it forward to other women lawyers. Women can also effect change through internal leadership roles or in capacities outside the firm.