(Richmond, VA – June 15, 2022) – The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) today announced that it completed its Leaders at the Front campaign. As of June 1, 93% of LCLD’s 400+ Member organizations—from law firms to large corporations, along with their respective managing partners or general counsel—have stepped forward to make a public pledge detailing the steps they will take to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession. LCLD is working with the remaining Members, who are new or in transition, to complete pledges as soon as possible.
“I am delighted that we have reached this milestone with our groundbreaking initiative that aims to make our legal profession as diverse as the nation it serves,” said LCLD President Robert Grey. “While there is still much work to be done, our member organizations, through the actions they are taking, are showing each and every day just how important these issues are.”
Added Ellen Dwyer, Chair of the LCLD Board and Chair of the Executive Committee at Crowell & Moring LLP, “The success of the Leaders at the Front campaign reflects the tremendous commitment of our Members to eradicating the systemic barriers that have stalled the advancement of diverse talent within our law firms and companies. Our necessary focus now is on executing on those commitments.”
Dwyer’s own pledge calls for the development and implementation of structured partner succession plans to include diverse lawyers as members of the team that will succeed to key client relationships—an initiative that the firm has already made meaningful progress in advancing.
Several other LCLD Members stand out for the pledges they made, including the following board members:
- Halimah DeLaine Prado, General Counsel, Google (who joined the LCLD board earlier this year), on building equitable practices into the legal department culture.
- Dev Stahlkopf, Executive Vice President & Chief Legal Officer, Cisco, on improving representation of diverse attorneys internally and among outside counsel.
- Joel Unruch, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Accenture, on internal accountability and transparency.
Based on analysis of Member pledges and feedback from LCLD program participants, the LCLD Board of Directors has identified succession planning, sponsorship, and collaboration between managing partners and general counsel as critical areas of focus. In the next phase of Leaders at the Front, LCLD will help Members implement their strategic plans with these areas in mind by providing action-oriented workshops and supporting activities. These will parallel LCLD’s ongoing efforts through its programs to attract, inspire, and nurture the next generation of diverse attorneys and help them ascend to positions of leadership within their organizations.