Welcome to the LCLD Insider, our monthly newsletter. This publication is for you, and we welcome your feedback and ideas, as well as any news you might be interested in passing along. Please share the Insider with your support staff, diversity directors, and marketing departments to keep them better informed about what LCLD is doing. 

-Robert Grey, President

In This Issue:

  • 2018 Fellow Nomination Deadline Extended
  • 2018 Pathfinder Selection Deadline Extended
  • Mickey Mouse, Client: LCLD Fellows Learn from the Lawyers of Disney
  • Fellows Alumni Give Back Through Nationwide Toy Drives
  • Recent Regional Events
  • Welcome, New Member!
  • In the News

Did You Know?

The Fellows Alumni released a 2017 Year in Review brochure to highlight how they came together in 2017 to support one another and their local communities.

2018 Fellow Nomination Deadline Extended

As a reminder, please submit your 2018 Fellow nominations by the extended deadline of Thursday, January 25, 2018.

The Fellows Program is a relationship-building and leadership-training experience for diverse lawyers with 8-15 years of practice experience and demonstrated leadership potential. As LCLD's flagship program, all Fellows must be handpicked by LCLD Members themselves. Please be sure to review the program selection criteria and fees before submitting your nomination(s) here. We also encourage you to review the Member Tool Kit for the Fellows Program.

For questions about the Fellows Program, please contact Nichole Velasquez, Fellows Program Manager.

Back to top

2018 Pathfinder Selection Deadline Extended

As a reminder, please submit your 2018 Pathfinder selections by the extended deadline of Thursday, February 1, 2018

The Pathfinder Program is designed to provide early-career attorneys with essential "soft" skills including leadership, relationship building, networking, and career planning to benefit both Pathfinders and the organizations they work for. Please be sure to review the program selection criteria and fees before submitting your selection(s) here. Note that you will also need to identify a Pathfinder Program Facilitator upon selecting your Pathfinder.

For questions about the Pathfinder Program, please email Erin Hess, Program Manager.

Back to top

Mickey Mouse, Client: LCLD Fellows Learn from the Lawyers of Disney

By Nichole Velasquez, Fellows Program Manager, LCLD

Alan Braverman (center, right) and Mickey Mouse welcomed three dozen LCLD Fellows to The Walt Disney Company for the final Learning Experience of 2017. (Photo courtesy The Walt Disney Company)

In early December, The Walt Disney Company hosted more than 35 LCLD Fellows at its Burbank, CA campus for a two-day Learning Experience unlike any other. From the Seven Dwarfs gazing down from rooftops (photo above), to the movie and television posters that adorned every building, the Disney corporate campus provided a unique and iconic setting.

In keeping with the larger-than-life spirit of Disney, the Fellows heard early on from two of the most influential leaders in global media and entertainment.

Alan Braverman, Senior Executive VP, General Counsel, and Secretary, welcomed the Fellows to Disney and provided insights on the importance of diversity in the pursuit of excellence. One of LCLD’s most active Board Members, Braverman spoke to his commitment to the LCLD mission and shared his personal belief that the word “diversity” should always be accompanied by “inclusion.” Read more and view photos.

For more information on hosting a Fellows Learning Experience, please contact Nichole Velasquez.

Back to top

Fellows Alumni Give Back Through Nationwide Toy Drives

By Courtney Nolde, Fellows Alumni Program Manager, LCLD

LCLD Fellows Alumni at the Toy Drive in Richmond, VA. (Photo courtesy of 2011 Fellow Valyncia Saunders)

Despite the extremely busy time of the year, Fellows Alumni from six classes (2011-2016) wanted to be sure to give back to their local communities during the season of giving. Organized by the Outreach Committee Chair Joe Hanna, 2014 Fellow and Partner at Goldberg Segalla, and Vice-Chair Lisa Harris, 2016 Fellow and Partner at Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP, Fellows Alumni in 10 cities throughout the U.S. organized Toy Drives to help bring holiday cheer to families in need.

Five Regional Leads, Patrice Jean (North), Jean Kuei (Mid-Atlantic), Bonnie Lau (West), Demetra Liggins (South), and Albert Lin (Mid-West) encouraged fellow Fellows Alumni in various cities to organize the toy drives to benefit an organization of their choice in their respective cities. Many of the Toy Drives were also scheduled around an opportunity for the Fellows Alumni to get together for networking time. And, in many cases, Fellows and Pathfinders joined the gatherings as well. Read more and view photos.

For questions about the Fellows Alumni Outreach Committee, please contact Joe Hanna or Lisa Harris. Click here to contact other members of the Fellows Alumni Executive Council.

Back to top

Recent Regional Events

Carolyn Frantz (left) and 2016 Pathfinder Jessica Tsao at the Fellows Alumni Speaker Series event on January 11, 2018. (Photo by Tim Aguero)


We'd like to thank the LCLD Members and Fellows Alumni who organized the following regional events this month:

  • LCLD Fellows Alumni Speaker Series: An Exploration of Courageous Leadership and Decision Making, Various Locations, January 11, 2018: Carolyn Frantz, Corporate Secretary, Vice President, and Deputy General Counsel at Microsoft Corporation, and Jessica Tsao, 2016 Pathfinder, and Technology and Intellectual Property Transactions Associate at K&L Gates LLP, spoke live in Seattle at K&L Gates and the discussion was simulcast to viewing parties in several cities. The event was sponsored by the LCLD Fellows Alumni, Dentons US LLP, K&L Gates LLP, Microsoft Corporation, and Pepper Hamilton LLP.
  • Leadership Lunch, Indianapolis, IN, January 12, 2018: LCLD Members Sharon Barner, Vice President and General Counsel at Cummins, Inc., and Kimberly Johnson, Partner and Firm Chair at Quarles & Brady LLP, spoke to Fellows at Quarles & Brady LLP.
  • Leadership Lunch, Columbus, OH, January 30, 2018: LCLD Members Thomas Bender, Co-President and Managing Director at Littler Mendelson, P.C., and Robert Bostrom, Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary at Abercrombie & Fitch Co., will speak to Fellows at Littler Mendelson, P.C.

For questions about the Fellows Alumni Speaker Series, please contact Program Development Committee Chair Reena Ganju, 2015 Fellow and Senior Counsel at PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. For questions about hosting a Leadership Lunch, please contact Nichole Velasquez, Fellows Program Manager.

Back to top

Welcome, New Members! 

Lou Brenner, General Counsel, Navy Federal Credit Union. Since 1933, Navy Federal Credit Union has grown from seven members to over 7 million members. And, since that time, our vision statement has remained focused on serving our unique field of membership: “Be the most preferred and trusted financial institution serving the military and their families.”

Cindy Caranella Kelly, Co-Managing Partner, Administration and Diversity Committee Member, Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP.
Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP’s core focus is commercial litigation, complemented by our exceptionally strong bankruptcy/restructuring and real estate transactional practices. We have extensive trial experience and are always trial-ready, representing both plaintiffs and defendants in every area of litigation.

A diverse and inclusive work environment is central to our mission in providing the highest quality of service to our clients. Our success, strength, and excellent legal work is a direct result of recognizing the individual contributions each of our attorneys and non-legal staff bring from their own backgrounds and experiences.

David Zapolsky, Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary, Amazon.com.
Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon.

We are a company of builders who bring varying backgrounds, ideas, and points of view to decisions and inventing on behalf of hundreds of millions of customers. Our diverse perspectives come from many sources, including gender, race, age, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, culture, education, as well as professional and life experience, and we are working to develop leaders and shape future talent pools to help us meet the diverse needs of our customers around the world.

Back to top

In the News


Brad Smith
, LCLD Immediate Past Chair and President of Microsoft, wrote about the company’s decision to eliminate forced arbitration agreements in support of employees who have experienced sexual harassment.


Rita Davis
, 2013 Fellow, was appointed as Counsel to the Governor by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam.


Vanessa Allen Sutherland
, 2011 Fellow, was mentioned in an article in The Washington Post for her work as Chairperson of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board.

Various LCLD Member organizations
 were also featured in the news.

See What's Working at LCLD Member organizations.
 Read about innovative solutions for creating a more inclusive legal profession and find out if what's working for these organizations can work for yours, too. To submit an initiative, please email Caitlin Puffenberger, LCLD Communications Specialist.

Read the latest issue of the LCLD Weekly News Digest on major issues in diversity and the legal profession. If you would like to receive the news digest via email each Wednesday, please contact Caitlin Puffenberger.

Back to top

Jessica Sabesan
Communications & Marketing Manager, LCLD Insider Editor

If you have any news or honors that are relevant to LCLD Members, please email Jessica Sabesan at jsabesan@lcldnet.com.