The 2022 Pathfinders pose for their class photo. (Photo by Joe Mahoney)

WASHINGTON, DC — The week of September 18–24, 2022, LCLD took over Washington, DC. The full week of events included the 13th Annual LCLD Membership Meeting and was bookended by the 2022 Pathfinder Second Meeting and the 2022 Fellows Second Meeting. Record numbers of 274 Pathfinders and 300 Fellows were in attendance. Each multi-day event was tailored to the participants’ respective experience levels and expanded on the programs’ respective themes, offering practical strategies for leadership development, emotional intelligence, and workplace challenges—as well as plenty of opportunities for the cohorts to grow their connections and form new ones.


Photo by Joe Mahoney

On Sunday evening, September 18, the 2022 Pathfinders celebrated their first in-person, full-class gathering with a reception at the Marriott Marquis, and then took to the streets of DC for tours of the city’s monuments and landmarks. Monday morning started with a session on navigating generational friction in the workplace, led by Chris De Santis, Specialist in Management & Organizational Development.

For the afternoon session, Pathfinders split into two alternating groups, giving the whole class the opportunity to engage more intimately with one another and the speakers. Half of the class joined Corporate Homie’s Bemetra Simmons and Demetra Liggins, 2012 Fellow, for a candid talk about the realities of navigating the legal profession as diverse attorneys, and lessons they’ve learned along the way. The other half joined LCLD President Robert Grey for a panel discussion with LCLD Member Matt Cooper and two LCLD Alumni—Brian Larkin, 2020 Fellow, and Dina Munasifi, 2021 Pathfinder—of Capital One Financial, who gave Pathfinders an inside look at the corporate space and what it takes to land an in-house position.

Photo by Joe Mahoney

On Tuesday, Carrie Fletcher of Harvard Law School and London Business School teamed up with John “The Purple Coach” Mitchell of KM Advisors to tackle the “Producer/Manager/Leader Dilemma”: learning to manage and lead effectively, without an increase in time or resources, while still being responsible for creating substantive work product. Mary Abbajay of Careerstone Group closed the 2022 Pathfinder Second Meeting with an interactive session that offered techniques for collaborating across power levels, perspectives, needs, wants, and personalities.


Photo by James Wallace

On Thursday, September 22, the 2022 Fellows opened their meeting with an action-oriented session on the five stages of “Design Thinking: An Empathetic Approach to Problem Solving” with Tasneem Khokha of GrowthPlay. Fellows capped off the evening with Dine-Arounds at local DC restaurants, carrying on a long-loved Fellows tradition. Friday began with a small-group session, with half the class joining Hassan Kamel of Otto Kroeger Associates for a workshop on emotional intelligence and how its various components appear in law firms versus corporate legal departments. Meanwhile, the other half broke out into even smaller groups for a surprise session where members of comedy group DC Improv led Fellows in fun and unexpected communication exercises.

Photo by James Wallace

In undeniably the most moving session of the event, Brian Stolarz of Norton Rose Fulbright shared the emotional journey to free Alfred Dewayne Brown from death row. Dewayne and Brian brought many listeners to tears of both sadness and joy, and one Fellow even brought Dewayne to tears in return when she read aloud a blessing for him. Brian addressed the Fellows as members of the legal community, emphasizing the importance of pro bono work. The powerful duo left each Fellow with a call to use their talents for good—and a rare signed copy of their memoir, Grace and Justice on Death Row: The Race Against Time and Texas to Free an Innocent Man.

Photo by James Wallace

After a ping-pong–themed reception at Spin on Friday evening, Fellows met for Saturday breakfast and an opportunity to take a new professional headshot with photographer James Wallace. In the final session of the meeting—and the week—Mary Abbajay engaged Fellows on how feedback and accountability conversations, when done effectively, create a powerful force that improves performance, bolsters productivity, and helps individuals develop their talents, build confidence, and become world-class leaders.


Throughout and after these lively meetings, Fellows and Pathfinders shared their experiences and photos on social media (excerpts below). Follow LCLD on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook for more posts and news from our community, as well as thought leadership, resources, and updates.

 “These last few days in Washington D.C. the 2022 Fellows became friends and FAMILY. We laughed, we cried, we learned, we celebrated, and we GREW. We had REAL conversations and we talked about REAL solutions. The only way to go is UP!!!” —Arsenio Mims, 2022 Fellow

Photo by James Wallace

“[The 2022 Fellows] exemplify the dynamic and amazing possibilities that await the legal landscape. If you are a 2022 #LCLDFellow, I am so grateful to have connected with you and look forward to our collective energy and team of minority in-house attorneys and law firm partners shaking up this profession!” —Vanessa Singh Johannas, 2022 Fellow

“The sessions provided practical tips that I will use throughout my career. I’ve connected with incredible leaders during this program and I am excited to build upon these relationships!” —Breauna Johnson Peterson, 2022 Pathfinder

“I enjoyed connecting with my cohort, meeting new people, and building new friendships. The conference speakers and sessions were phenomenal!! I am proud that I work for a company that’s invested in LCLD. I look forward to new experiences as an alum of LCLD.” —Keyuna Evans, 2022 Pathfinder