At the second in-person Learning Experience of 2022, LCLD Fellows and Alumni were given exclusive access to the metaverse and Accenture’s work at its frontier. Following a welcome event hosted by Skadden on Tuesday, November 1, Fellows started their Wednesday experience with breakfast on the 61st floor of Accenture’s New York office. Surrounded by 360-degree views of the city, the scene was set for a deep exploration into the future of technology, the internet, the workplace, and the law.
“As the Global Legal Lead for Metaverse at Accenture and an LCLD Alum myself, I am so proud of the Learning Experience and the impact it had on the Fellows,” said Patrick Fang, 2020 Pathfinder and 2022 Rick Palmore Alumni Award winner. “We endeavored to provide an unforgettable experience that took them deep into the Metaverse through immersive technology demonstrations, interactive executive presentations, and ‘think like a Metaverse lawyer’ case studies. I was inspired by their passion to learn about the Metaverse and am excited to know we helped them learn about the impact the Metaverse will have on our technology, our way of connecting with each other, and our respective legal profession.”
LCLD Board Member Joel Unruch, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Accenture, welcomed and spent the entire day with the Fellows. Nick Law, Global Lead for Design and Creative Tech, delved into the evolution of Accenture Song, a major digital agency that helps executives adapt to their customers’ ever-changing needs and priorities through a “life-centric approach.” He emphasized the importance of responsibility, security, and ethics in the “metaverse continuum.” “The metaverse will reflect its architects,” Nick said, making “community ownership” a primary goal. Fellows then heard from Emma Cochrane, Global Metaverse Studios Lead, about how Accenture Song is developing new metaverse businesses, products, and experiences for clients with responsibility, inclusion, and accessibility top of mind.
Split into four small groups, the Fellows rotated between high-tech, hands-on experiences: touring Accenture’s elaborate virtual reality onboarding center, controlling a robot dog, watching an immersive film, trying a headset designed for surgeons at the operating table, and even making a metaverse breakfast complete with the scents of coffee, toast, sausage, and (unfortunately) cheese.
After a casual lunch at Accenture offices in the One Manhattan West building, Fellows again split into their breakout groups for an Escape Room–style team competition that explored some of the tricky legal issues that the metaverse entails. Goodie bags full of tech, like Bluetooth speakers, were awarded to the winning group.
Jill Kramer, Accenture’s Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, spoke with Fellows about how the company’s culture and purpose are the driving forces behind its brand, both internally and externally. She shared Accenture’s “Let There Be Change” brand campaign, which launched in 2020 with content driven by the company’s global team. Danielle Purfey Wright, Accenture’s Managing Director of Global Talent Brand and Inclusion & Diversity, followed up with a deeper dive on Accenture’s culture and purpose.
After spending the full day with the Fellows—listening in on presentations, participating in group experiences, and chatting individually—Joel stepped up to answer questions. When asked about Accenture’s engagement with LCLD, he shared that it started with the Success in Law School Mentoring Program; the department rapidly grew more involved with LCLD in response to overwhelming interest among Accenture attorneys.
“I attend as many events as I can,” Joel said. “The more you engage, the more you realize there’s an endless amount you can learn.”
“This is Accenture’s second Learning Experience,” said Patrick, “and we’re thankful to LCLD for the opportunity once again to interact with amazing Fellows and inspire them to broaden their aperture about how they view their role in the legal industry and with their clients.”
Creativity, curiosity, and adaptability emerged as principal themes in the company’s change-embracing culture and its vision for the future. The Accenture team awed participants not only with the company’s innovations in tech, but also with its hyperfocus on building a meaningful, inclusive future in an increasingly technological—and virtual—world.
LCLD extends a special thanks to Board Member Joel Unruch, 2020 Pathfinder and 2022 Rick Palmore Award winner Patrick Fang, Neena Munjal, Nick Law, Emma Cochrane, Jill Kramer, Danielle Purfey Wright, and the entire Accenture team for hosting this Learning Experience. Thanks, also, to LCLD Member Eric Friedman and Skadden for hosting the welcome event.