Transforming Tomorrow was the theme of LCLD's 13th Annual Membership Meeting held September 22-23 in Washington, D.C. The event attracted more than 230 members of the LCLD community for the first in-person gathering in three years and celebrated the full participation in LCLD's Leaders at the Front pledge campaign. It also served as the start of the next phase of Leaders at the Front: Transforming Tomorrow, which includes implementing those pledges.

To help Members turn their pledges into actionable, measurable programs, the meeting offered inspiration from several speakers:

Language of Leadership: Interview with Julie Sweet

During a Q&A presentation from Accenture Chair and CEO Julie Sweet (above, right) and General Counsel and Corporate Secretary Joel Unruch (above, left), Members learned how the C-suite makes DEI a business imperative. They noted that being transparent, publishing DEI goals internally and externally, and developing a program that is fully integrated within the business is a good first step in moving the needle.

The Anatomy of a “Super Pledge”

Another highlight of the Annual Meeting was the acknowledgement and recognition of LCLD’s “Super Pledgers”— those who have well-developed components of their pledge that will serve as a model for other Members.  The top impact areas highlighted in a Super Pledge include:

  • Succession Planning - Carlos Brown (above), Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Dominion Energy, Inc.
  • Collaboration - Halimah DeLaine Prado, General Counsel at Google LLC 
  • Sponsorship – Ellen Dwyer, Chair of the Executive Committee at Crowell & Moring LLP
  • Ownership - Katya Jestin, Co-Managing Partner of Jenner & Block LLP
  • Accountability -  Eric Friedman, Executive Partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

To see LCLD's Super Pledge, click here

Allyship for Leaders: Navigating Conversations about Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

The presentation by Kenji Yoshino (above), Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law at New York University School of Law, addressed how best to have conversations about diversity and inclusion in the workplace. He shared his “Empathy Triangle,” which outlines the path to becoming an ally to minorities and diverse colleagues by doing the homework to learn about others, speaking up when witnessing non-inclusive behavior, and actively committing to the work of being more empathetic. He also recommended that being an ally should be a component of Members’ Leader Pledges. To see Kenji's presentation and a copy of the Empathy Triangle, click here

Ellen Dwyer Concludes Term as Chair of LCLD Board

Other highlights from the meeting included recognizing LCLD Board Chair Ellen Dwyer for her tireless efforts in developing and launching the Leaders at the Front campaign, a groundbreaking initiative that required all LCLD Members to make a public pledge detailing the steps they will take to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession. In a moving video tribute, Ellen was honored by colleagues, family, and friends. Her three-year tenure as Chair of the LCLD Board ends in December when she will be succeeded by Kim Rivera, Chief Legal and Business Affairs Officer at OneTrust. (Pictured above, from left: Robert Grey, Kim Rivera, Ellen Dwyer, and Rick Palmore.)

2022 Top Performers and Compass Award Winners

Recognizing those law firms and corporations showing a commitment to building more diverse organizations and a more inclusive legal profession, almost 200 Members were recognized as Top Performers and Compass Award winners this year.  The Top Performer award recognizes those organizations in the top 20 percent for participation in LCLD programs and activities. The Compass Award recognizes those individuals and organizations that fulfill all of the following requirements in a single calendar year:

  • Member attendance at the Annual Meeting and/or attendance at a Leadership Summit and/or creation of a Leader’s Pledge 
  • Participation in the LCLD Fellows and Pathfinder Programs.
  • Participation in an LCLD Pipeline program (the 1L Scholars Program or the Success in Law School Mentoring Program).

 The complete list of winners is available here

It was an inspiring and energizing conference! As we look back over the year, particularly as captured here in the Year in Review video, we are excited for what lies ahead. Below is a preview of what’s to come. 

Next Steps  

Super Pledge Summits

To help all Members enhance their own Super Pledges, we are holding Super Pledge Summits, where Members will have the opportunity to hear more about a particular impact area from peers, as well as learn more about how LCLD Member companies are working to build diverse and inclusive environments. Space is limited, so please register here to reserve your spot:

Pledge Tracking Tool

We are also launching a Pledge Tracker, a new tool to help leaders view their progress on their pledges, hold themselves accountable, expand their pledges to include new impact areas, and stay motivated to meet and exceed goals. The Tracker will also provide critical information to promote the sharing of next practices in DE&I.  The Pledge Tracker will be available to a limited number of Members beginning in January of 2023—sign up to participate here.