A highlight of what LCLD president Robert Grey called "a game-changing day," the morning table discussions during the Annual Meeting challenged LCLD Members and guests to identify the most important diversity and inclusion goals for their organizations—and then design specific initiatives to achieve them.
Under the guidance of Scott Westphal, Faculty Director of the Harvard Law School Executive Education Program, the tables generated more than 200 ideas, which were whittled down and organized around four main goals:
1. Increase advancement of diverse lawyers for leadership, management and/or partner positions
2. Enhance development initiatives and retention of diverse lawyers
3. Create an organizational culture of inclusivity and belonging
4. Improve recruitment efforts to create a more diverse pipeline
Each of these overarching goals was undergirded by a robust set of specific ideas.
Increase advancement of diverse lawyers.
• Increase percentage of women equity partners
• Promote at least one diverse attorney to a management position each year
• Increase diverse representation on the firm’s executive committee
• Increase the diversity of lateral partner hires by 30% over the next two years
• Increase the pool of diverse (racial, ethnic, LGBT) associates who stay and want a career at the firm
Enhance development initiatives and retention of diverse lawyers.
• Increase the number of diverse attorneys given meaningful “responsibility” (i.e., with top 20 clients)
• Provide honest feedback/reflection about succession metrics
• Pair non-diverse lawyers with diverse lawyers in ways that build awareness, develop relationships, and lead to shared success
• Improve workflow for diverse attorneys
• Build individualized development plans
• Increase number of diverse lawyers who share the “unwritten rules” and informal networks
Create an organizational culture of inclusivity and belonging.
• Elevate D&I to equal footing with all other areas of firm success
• Re-imagine inclusion as a leadership skill: train mid-career lawyers in that skill
• Make diversity topics a regular part of the conversation so that we can overcome and understand problems
• Be more intentional in opportunities
• Build awareness about the importance of D&I within leader’s own personal network
Improve recruitment efforts to create a more diverse pipeline.
• Increase diversity of law schools at which we recruit most
• Target ninth to 12th graders to advance the image of the legal profession
• Create a firm’s own pipeline for its own diversity efforts
• Track which undergraduate schools are seeing the most diverse students going to law school
• Focus on pipeline...where it all begins
“These table discussions were invaluable in themselves,” said Robert Grey. “They gave the leaders of the profession an opportunity to compare notes, share successes and failures, and explore what’s working. And the ideas that laddered up to the top of those conversations will give all our organizations and the LCLD Board critical input for ongoing D&I strategic development."
“This was a game-changing day.”