A record 375 LCLD Alumni—Fellows and Pathfinders from the classes of 2011-2019—reunited for the 2020 LCLD Alumni Virtual Leadership Symposium on June 12, 2020. This is the ninth year that Alumni have joined together as a whole, but it is the first year that they have done so virtually. The 2020 Leadership Symposium Planning Committee adapted the original agenda for a virtual setting so that Alumni could still come together amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the symposium emceed by committee Chair Kelly Lipinski, 2015 Fellow and Member at McGlinchey Stafford PLLC, and Vice Chair Maritza Okata, 2012 Fellow and Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at Fannie Mae, Alumni participated in sessions focused on leadership development, negotiation skills, and relationship building.

The meeting began with a Language of Leadership session with LCLD Board Chair Elect Kim Rivera, President, Strategy and Business Management, and Chief Legal Officer at HP Inc. In a fireside chat with LCLD President Robert Grey, Rivera reflected on her past experiences as she advised Alumni and other members of the LCLD community on continuing to lead and thrive in times of crisis, citing our society’s challenges of COVID-19 and ongoing racial injustice as reasons to double-down on strengthening diversity and inclusion practices in the legal profession and beyond.

Following Rivera’s talk, LCLD Founding Chair Emeritus Rick Palmore, Senior Counsel at Dentons US LLP, presented the Sixth Annual Rick Palmore LCLD Alumni Award to 2014 Fellows Joseph Maron Hanna, Partner at Goldberg Segalla, and Marilyn McClure-Demers, Vice President, Associate General Counsel of Corporate Litigation and Discovery Management at Nationwide. Palmore congratulated the honorees and challenged the group to not be patient, not be silent, and not acquiesce. He called on the group to “fulfill the promise of what’s possible.”

Additionally, the 2019 Participation is Key Award was presented to the 2018 Fellows class, which had the highest percentage of contributions to the 2019 All In! Campaign (the 2020 campaign ends July 31, 2020).

Following the awards presentations and announcements about the incoming 2020-2021 LCLD Alumni Executive Council, keynote speaker Alexandra Carter, a Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Mediation Clinic at Columbia Law School, and author of the book Ask for More: 10 Questions to Negotiate Anything, led an interactive workshop on the topic of “Negotiation During Uncertain Times.” Using a series of strategic questions, Carter provided a framework for gathering information to make more informed choices during the negotiation process.

Opportunities for meaningful connections are an important part of the in-person LCLD Alumni Leadership Symposium experience. To provide that type of environment virtually, the Alumni gathered for small group virtual Dine-Arounds later in the evening. Dine-Around captains provided multiple options for Alumni ranging from trivia to deeper discussions about how to take action to address systemic racism within both the legal profession and in their communities. These ideas and action items will be shared with the working group the LCLD Alumni formed in early June to address these issues.

Please click here to see the symposium agenda and a list of LCLD Member organizations that sponsored the event.

Jessica Sabesan is the Senior Communications & Marketing Manager at LCLD. For questions about the 2020 LCLD Alumni Virtual Leadership Symposium, please contact Erin Hess, LCLD Alumni Program Manager.