Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Announces Record-Setting Class of Pathfinders

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Largest class ever for LCLD's newest program for early-career attorneys.

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The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) announced this week that 147 diverse attorneys from 97 LCLD member law firms and corporations have been selected for the 2017 Pathfinder Program. The program, which served 112 attorneys last year and 40 attorneys in its 2015 pilot year, trains early-career attorneys in critical career-development strategies including leadership and the building of professional networks.

"There was a gap [in LCLD programming] for junior associates or lawyers who are new to corporate law departments," said Greg Jordan, General Counsel and Head of Regulatory Government Affairs at PNC Financial Services Group and a former LCLD board member. “Since that is a population of lawyers who suffer very high attrition, we created the Pathfinder Program as a way to eliminate that gap." Having witnessed the value of the program for PNC’s first attorney Pathfinder in 2015, Jordan has selected attorneys from the corporation to participate every year since then.

In April, Pathfinders will be split into two groups to attend intensive two-day trainings hosted by LCLD member corporations Adobe Systems Incorporated in San Jose, CA, and Harley-Davidson, Inc. in Milwaukee, WI. Participants will learn from experts on leadership and career development, as well as from various executives at the hosting corporations.    

“We believe that a diverse workforce is key to building an innovative company that reflects our global customer base,” said Mike Dillon, Executive Vice President and General Counsel at Adobe. “The Pathfinder Program shares our values on cultivating diversity among legal professionals. We are honored to host the incoming class of Pathfinders at Adobe this year and contribute to their professional development and networking opportunities.”

“Here at Harley-Davidson, we’re proud to support LCLD’s mission to build a more diverse and inclusive legal profession,” said Paul Jones, Chief Legal Officer at Harley-Davidson. “We’re also excited to host the Pathfinder Program, which focuses on setting attorneys up for success in their careers.”

"The curriculum for this program has been very carefully designed to accommodate early career lawyers from both in-house legal departments and law firms," said Lori Lorenzo, LCLD Program Director. LCLD does this, she said, by identifying the vital leadership training and professional development needs that both groups share, while also focusing on the disparate needs of the two groups through breakout training sessions.

“All of that comes together for the member organizations, both corporations and law firms, in a more confident, more assertive, more leadership-oriented young lawyer," Lorenzo said.

“Our profession will be stronger with more successful diverse attorneys,” said Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer at Microsoft and former chairman of LCLD. “The LCLD Pathfinder Program helps by inspiring and nurturing the next generation of diverse talent, and we are committed to helping to scale its impact on both the participants and our profession.”

For more information on LCLD, contact Communications Director Don Belt at dbelt(at)lcldnet.org or visit http://www.lcldnet.org.

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