LCLD Alumni gathered June 17-18, 2021 for the Annual LCLD Alumni Leadership Symposium, reuniting 347 Fellows and Pathfinders from the classes of 2011-2020. The symposium, which focused on the theme of narrative leadership, was emceed by committee Chair Maritza Okata, 2012 Fellow and Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at Fannie Mae, and Vice Chair Ricardo Bonilla, 2018 Pathfinder and Principal at Fish & Richardson P.C. Alumni enjoyed several substantive sessions geared toward career development as well as networking and relationship-building opportunities.

Over the course of the symposium, each Alumnus participated in a small group chat with one of 22 LCLD Member general counsel and chief legal officers to hear their stories and career advice. Several Members spoke about the need to take risks and be flexible in making career transitions, being authentic and building relationships at work, and staying motivated to do work that will have an impact on society and the greater good.

The keynote speaker was Emmy Award-winning journalist Jemele Hill, who told the Alumni her career story and shared advice on how to use their own voices and platforms effectively.

The conference also featured a session on storytelling and narrative leadership, presented by Story Imprinting Co-Founders Ann marie Houghtailing and Holly Amaya. During the session, Alumni learned more about owning their own narratives and making sure their stories are heard. Following the presentation, the Alumni broke into small groups to discuss how to amplify their narratives and those of others in their network.

LCLD Board Member Dev Stahlkopf (top left), General Counsel and Corporate Vice President at Microsoft Corporation, speaks to a small group of LCLD Alumni during the symposium (Photo by Nichole Velasquez).

Additionally, legal commentators Vivia Chen and Lisa Helem, both of Bloomberg Industry Group; David Lat, Founder of Above the Law; and moderator Kori Carew, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at Seyfarth Shaw LLP, joined the Alumni for a panel discussion on the state of the legal profession.

Then LCLD Founding Chair Emeritus Rick Palmore, Senior Counsel at Dentons US LLP, presented the Seventh Annual Rick Palmore LCLD Alumni Award to 2012 Fellow Demetra Liggins, a Partner at Thompson & Knight LLP, and 2015 Fellow Kevin Gooch, a Partner at Holland & Knight LLP.

Okata and Bonilla presented the 2020 Participation is Key Award to the Fellows Class of 2018 for being the Alumni class with the highest percentage of contributions to last year’s All In! Campaign—it was the 2018 Fellows’ second time in a row winning the award (the 2021 campaign ends July 31, 2021).

The Fellows Class of 2012 won the Owlie Community Service Award for the Alumni class with the highest level of participation in community service initiatives over the past year. The 2012 Fellows have won the Owlie several years in a row.

In addition to the substantive sessions, there were many opportunities for networking during the symposium. Alumni participated in one-on-one speed networking sessions, trivia competitions, a happy hour/snack chat, and a virtual scavenger hunt to meet new Alumni and build community.

We’d like to thank all 22 of the LCLD Members who shared their time and advice with LCLD Alumni during the symposium. We’d also like to extend a special thank you to the following LCLD Member organizations that sponsored this symposium.


Jessica Sabesan is the Senior Communications & Marketing Manager at LCLD. For questions about the 2021 LCLD Alumni Virtual Leadership Symposium, please contact Nichole Velasquez, LCLD Alumni Program Director.