At their Leadership Symposium earlier this summer, the LCLD Alumni elected Patty Palacios, a 2012 Fellow and partner at Steptoe & Johnson, to lead this dynamic organization forward into the post-pandemic world. She succeeds Bonnie Lau of Dentons.

In the aftermath of Covid, "my principal goal is to ensure that we as Alumni have plenty of opportunities to network, hopefully in person," Patty says.

She envisions "lots of regional and local programming to bring us back together as a community-especially the newer classes who haven't had the opportunity to meet in person. It's really important to bring them into the fold."

A native of Miami whose family fled the Cuban revolution, Patty was the first of her family to be born in the United States; she didn't speak English until the first grade. She later attended Cornell University, graduating in three years with a degree in political science.

Her interest in the law was piqued post-graduation, working for an electric power executive who was often called as an expert witness. Her research job involved preparing him for courtroom testimony by challenging his arguments. "I discovered I was pretty good at it," she laughs.

A few years later, she enrolled in George Washington University Law School, where she earned her J.D. with highest honors in 2006.

Patty leads an Executive Committee that includes Fellows and Pathfinder Alumni who believe deeply in the mission of LCLD—and in each other.

It's a testament to the program, she says, that the Alumni, rather than fading, were strengthened by living through the pandemic together. The secret of their success?

"We leaned on each other."