Under the glow of stage lights, Carolyn Frantz, Deputy General Counsel of Microsoft, made a powerful impact on the dozens of LCLD Fellows Alumni, Fellows, Pathfinders, 1L Scholars, Members, and prospective Members who recently gathered at K&L Gates in Seattle to hear her insights on Courageous Leadership.

Propelled by the vision of the Fellows Alumni—and the magic of livestream—Frantz’s remarks also resonated with hundreds more at viewing parties and on webcasts across the United States, in a spectacular inauguration of the 2018 Fellows Alumni Speaker Series.

What brought Frantz and that national audience together is a story in itself.

It began when Maritza Okata, Chair of the Fellows Alumni Network, floated the idea of a speakers series to Reena Ganju, Chair of the Fellows Alumni Program Development Committee. Ganju had been thinking along the same lines, and knew the perfect speaker to kick off the series.

“I met Carolyn Frantz briefly last summer, and was inspired by her real-life stories of leadership, decision-making, and embracing uncertainty,” said Ganju, Senior Counsel at PNC Financial and a 2015 Fellow. “She has an energy, confidence, and message that I thought many could benefit from hearing.”

Okata, who knew Frantz from their time as judicial clerks, was enthusiastic, and Ganju reached out to the LCLD Fellows Alumni Program Development Committee network on the West Coast. Regional Lead Bonnie Lau and City Leads Jason Barnwell and Katina Thornock convened a working group of Fellows and Pathfinders from Seattle to plan the event, and encouraged local Pathfinder Alumni to take the lead.

And so they did. Pathfinders Jessica Tsao (2016, K&L Gates) and Aneesh Mehta (2016, Microsoft) volunteered to chair the event and got to work on the details. For the main program, Aneesh drafted opening and closing remarks, and Jessica prepared to conduct an on-stage interview with Frantz.

Once the event was set, Fellows Alumni and Pathfinders across the country volunteered to drive attendance and coordinate day-of logistics in their respective cities. 

The program, broadcast live, earned rave reviews: Frantz provided insight and advice for anyone who aspires to leadership, from first-year law students to seasoned senior attorneys.

To the Fellows Alumni who helped put it together, the Seattle program was an auspicious beginning and a model for future events.

“One of the best things about the Speaker Series is its scalability and convenience,” says Ganju, the Fellows Alumni program chair. “We know how busy our Fellows Alumni, Fellows, and Pathfinders are, along with everyone else in LCLD member organizations. By going the ‘virtual’ route, at little additional cost, we’re able to touch many more people where they are, geographically, and bring them together around programming that is relevant to where they are in their careers.

“From the Member organization’s perspective, hosting the Speaker Series is a great way to have a national impact with relative ease. We have a network of Fellows Alumni who help plan, publicize, and execute the event. In addition, these events don’t involve travel or a big investment of time or money, which means that we don’t have to ask Members and others to expend significant resources to host one. It's a one-hour live event that is broadcast to viewers around the country.”

Audiences for Frantz’s talk assembled in Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Washington, D.C., where Fellows Alumni, Fellows, and Pathfinders hosted real-time viewing parties at LCLD member organizations, providing in-person networking opportunities before, during, and after the event.

In other parts of the country, more than 60 LCLD constituents participated via webcast. In all more than 200 LCLD stakeholders participated, including Members, Fellows Alumni, Fellows, Pathfinders and Alumni, Scholars, Mentors, and Mentees.

Organizers were supported by Member organizations K&L Gates, Dentons US, Pepper Hamilton, and Microsoft Corporation, who worked together seamlessly to provide a high level of content, technical coordination, and networking opportunities for viewers nationwide.

The next event in the 2018 Alumni Speaker Series, featuring David Cruikshank on Partner Performance and Law Firm Compensation Systems, will be webcast across the country on February 27, followed by a live event in Philadelphia on March 8 featuring two general counsel: Greg Jordan of PNC and Mike Holston of Merck. For the latter event, viewing parties are being planned for ten cities across the country, hosted by Duane Morris LLP at their offices.

A schedule of upcoming Speaker Series events can be found below. Like the event featuring Frantz, all will be presented by the Fellows Alumni and include the greater LCLD community in both participant and leadership roles.

“This is fundamentally a reflection of the power of the LCLD network to build engagement across our community and our profession,” says Maritza Okata, the Fellow Alumni Network Chair. “Like LCLD itself, the Alumni Speaker Series is a collaboration. Its success and impact and driven by the sustained support of Members, Fellows Alumni, Fellows, Pathfinders, and LCLD staff, for which we are immensely grateful.”

To learn more about the 2018 Alumni Speaker Series or to host an event or viewing party, please contact Reena Ganju or Erin Hess. To view a video of the Carolyn Frantz program, go here.

Upcoming Events:

• February 27, 2018 9am PT 
"Partner Performance and Law Firm Compensation Systems," with David Cruickshank
Webcast throughout the US

• March 8, 2018 11:30am ET Postponed due to inclement weather
"General Counsel Roundtable," with Greg Jordan, PNC Financial Services, Inc. and Mike Holston, Merck, Inc.
Live in Philadelphia, viewing parties in 10 cities, webcast nationwide

• April 24, 2018 12:00pm ET 
"Becoming Fluent in Leadership Temperament," with Tracy Spears
Live in Washington, D.C. with viewing parties in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Miami; webcast nationwide