For the past ten years, LCLD’s Learning Experiences have offered Fellows, Alumni, and other participants an intimate look at the inner workings of large US corporations, from their DE&I goals to their visions for the future, as well as the chance to network and engage with their top executives and legal leaders.
So far this year, four LCLD Member organizations—Guardian Life Insurance, Dominion Energy, Microsoft, and Accenture—have hosted virtual Learning Experiences. Freddy Fonseca, a 2019 Pathfinder who attended several of the 2021 meetings, calls such meetings a “staple” of his professional growth. “As a leader, you must invest time in your personal development,” he says—and LCLD has served as an “endless well of resources and edification.”
Here’s a brief recap of each LCLD Learning Experience in 2021:
The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America
In August, LCLD Fellows gathered on Zoom for a Virtual Learning Experience, during which attendees received an in-depth understanding of Guardian Life Insurance operations and corporate culture, and how its legal team supports the company as it adapts and evolves. Kermitt Brooks (left), Executive Vice President and General Counsel, led the way.
“DE&I is not an HR initiative—it’s a business imperative,” said Wendy Dowd, Chief Talent and Experience Officer at Guardian. “We’re trying to accelerate the changes we want to see, not only at Guardian but in the world.”
These efforts include increasing the diversity of job candidates, instituting a company DE&I panel that includes all executives, and launching Guardian’s Transformational Leadership program, designed to develop diverse talent into the executives of the future.
Another of Guardian’s many DE&I goals is to have 50% women officers by 2023, said panel moderator Preeti Narayan, 2021 Fellow and Guardian’s Second Vice President, Counsel.
Guardian’s emphasis on human resources is by design, says Dowd. “The most important asset a company has is its talent—its people.”
At a Virtual Learning Experience in June, LCLD Member Carlos Brown, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Dominion Energy, left a lasting impression with his “candor and insight,” Freddy said. Brown (left) also explained the commitments outlined in his Leaders at the Front pledge.
Following a virtual scavenger hunt the evening prior, the Learning Experience included a fireside chat with Carlos, a panel with the law department, and breakout rooms where panelists gave behind-the-scenes tours of the company’s wind and solar projects.
At the Microsoft Virtual Learning Experience in May, attendees learned about the company’s initiatives, from Open Data to Justice Reform, as well as their commitments to sustainability and DE&I. Davis Wright Tremaine co-sponsored the Welcome Event, a virtual wine tasting presented by The Walls Vineyard, based in Washington state.
LCLD Board Member Dev Stahlkopf (left), former General Counsel and Corporate Vice President of Microsoft, welcomed attendees and led the discussion alongside LCLD President Robert Grey. Ahead of the event, attendees selected one of two breakout options for each of three panel sessions with different topics: data and privacy, sustainability and inclusion, and company cultural transformation.
In April, Accenture hosted the first virtual Learning Experience of the year. The evening before, attendees took part in a virtual scavenger hunt exploring the city of Chicago, where Accenture’s legal team is located. LCLD Board Member Joel Unruch (left), General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, opened the main event with an overview of Accenture’s security business.
Attendees received a security demo from Shawn Duffy, Managing Director of Accenture’s Advanced Attack and Readiness Operations. The afternoon’s activities featured a lively, panelist-led breakout session: “Think like a Hacker, Act like a Lawyer.” During this interactive experience, each preassigned group of attendees was given a simulated security hack to analyze. The groups presented their recommendations to the panelists, who voted on whether the hack was worth the risk.
Coming up: LCLD Member Alan Braverman, General Counsel of The Walt Disney Company, will host the next LCLD Learning Experience in November 2021. Forthcoming details will be made available on the LCLD Events webpage.