LCLD Members Ellen Dwyer (upper left)Chair of the Executive Committee at Crowell & Moring LLP; Joel Unruch, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Accenture; Hannah Kim, Chief Legal Officer, Chief Compliance Officer, and Corporate Secretary at Neiman Marcus Group, Inc.; Carlos Brown (bottom left), Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Dominion Energy; and Katya Jestin (bottom right), Co-Managing Partner at Jenner & Block LLP joined LCLD President Robert Grey (bottom middle) for a panel on leading from the front at LCLD's 12th Annual Membership Meeting. 

(Richmond, Va. - October 21, 2021) – The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) welcomed more than 1,400 members of the LCLD community, virtually, to its 12th Annual LCLD Membership Meeting. Building on the momentum of the Leaders at the Front campaign—a groundbreaking initiative designed to advance diversity in the profession—presenters explored the future of DE&I. One panel featured an in-depth discussion with managing partners and general counsel underscoring the importance of making a personal and actionable pledge.

While more than 140 LCLD members have answered the call by publishing their pledges, this panel focused on the need to build on that momentum by bringing all of LCLD’s members to the Front. Moderated by Ellen Dwyer, chair of the LCLD Board and Chair of the Executive Committee at Crowell & Moring LLP, panelists included Carlos Brown, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Dominion Energy, Inc.; Hannah Kim, Chief Legal Officer, Chief Compliance Officer, and Corporate Secretary, Neiman Marcus Group, Inc.; Joel Unruch, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Accenture; and Katya Jestin, Co-Managing Partner, Jenner & Block LLP.

Key insights from the leaders on their own pledges, include: 

Carlos Brown on succession planning: “I wanted my pledge to be very measurable. For 20 years, we’ve been talking about moving the needle. … We have to institutionalize our efforts. Great institutions last more than a generation, great leaders do not. If you’re getting people ready to take your job, that has to include diversity. … If you don’t have a person of color in place now ready to succeed you, put them on then plan now and be accountable to get them ready, so they will be in the future.”

Hannah Kim on setting diversity-related goals: “One requirement was that we had a certain number of candidates be diverse. It’s helpful that we pushed a lot of departments to do that. We need to expand our idea of what diverse means.”

Joel Unruch on holding leaders accountable: “To advance a culture of equality where every person feels like they belong, we must approach inclusion and diversity with the same rigor we apply to every business priority. A critical part of this is taking action, focusing on outcomes and holding ourselves accountable on progress. At Accenture, we expect everyone to make equality for all a personal commitment. By holding ourselves to a higher level of accountability, we build trust and accelerate sustainable change together.”

Katya Jestin on organizational changes to impact diversity: “Combatting alienation among talented and diverse lawyers is something we can accomplish by changing the way our leadership looks,” including rotating positions on management committees and “providing ways for younger and diverse talent to engage in practice leadership. It’s about developing relationships with those individuals… and trying to create an environment where younger lawyers believe there’s a seat at the table for them.”

Ready to join the movement? Submit your Leader's Pledge here

To learn more about Leaders at Front, reach out to Caitlin Puffenberger, Member Program and Communications Manager.