The 2021 LCLD Fellows class shattered records this year with a class size of 425, 409 of which attended the 2021 Fellows’ first virtual meeting that took place March 4-5, 2021. 

During each day of the meeting, Fellows participated in several one-on-one networking sessions and Accountability Partner breakout sessions of 8-12 Fellows each, to build relationships with one another and enhance the substantive content presented throughout the meeting.

The "Culture Club" group during a breakout session. Velasquez assigned the Fellows group names from popular bands of the 70s-90s as an instant icebreaker for the first meeting. (Photo by Stella Varga)

“The inaugural meeting was full of energy, engaging, educational, and interactive,” said 2021 Fellow Susanna Khalil Sedrak, Partner at Buckley LLP. “Even in the virtual meeting format, I actually met and connected with new people and have already begun building relationships.” 

The meeting opened with Hassan Kamel, Lead Consultant at Otto Kroeger Associates, who led Fellows in an Emotional Intelligence Workshop where they learned to understand their results of the EQ-I 2.0 Assessment and the social and emotional skills that influence the way they perceive and express themselves, cope with challenges, and develop and maintain relationships. 

The next day, the Fellows attended Managing Up, a high-energy presentation by Mary Abbajay, President & Co-Founder of Careerstone Group, LLC, that gave Fellows effective strategies for working with supervisors with different personalities and managing the Fellows’ own professional success. They also attended a presentation on servant leadership by Chris De Santis, Specialist in Management and Organization Development. During this session, Fellows learned the roles that goal setting, feedback, and emotional intelligence play in distinguishing great leaders from good ones. 

The "Ace of Base" group during a breakout session. (Photo by Stella Varga)

In addition to the Accountability Partner groups introduced at the meeting, 2021 Fellows also participated in an interactive session with their Regional Cohort. In these small cohorts of Fellows in each LCLD geographical region, Fellows engaged in discussions that fostered connection and authenticity within each group—it was another opportunity to get to know a small group of Fellows more intimately. Throughout the Fellows’ yearlong program, they will have several additional opportunities to meet and engage with their Accountability Partner and Regional Cohort groups, as well as more professional development content. 

“This was not your average conference—I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year has in store for us,” Sedrak said. 

Click here to read the article about the LCLD Fellows and Pathfinder programs in this week’s issue of Virginia Lawyers Weekly. 


For questions about the Fellows Program, please email Nichole Velasquez, Fellows Program Manager.