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

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

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The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) announced this week that 173 diverse attorneys from 114 LCLD member law firms and corporations have been selected for the 2018 Pathfinder Program. This initiative, which has served nearly 300 lawyers since its inception in 2015, 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.

This month, Pathfinders will be split into two groups to attend intensive three-day trainings hosted by LCLD member corporations Walmart Inc. in Bentonville, AR, and Abercrombie & Fitch Co. near Columbus, OH. Then in November, the entire class of Pathfinders will come together for their final training at Mastercard in Purchase, NY. Participants will learn from experts on leadership and career development, as well as from various executives at the hosting corporations.

“This is our third year participating in the program and our ninth year as an LCLD member,” said Karen Roberts, Executive Vice President and General Counsel at Walmart Inc. and an LCLD Board Member. “We are excited to host the Pathfinders and share the experiences of our attorneys with them in furtherance of LCLD’s goal of developing this diverse group of extraordinary lawyers.”

“At Abercrombie & Fitch, we value and encourage diversity and inclusion initiatives not only within our company, but also by partnering with organizations that share our commitment to diversity,” said LCLD Member Robert Bostrom, A&F’s Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary. “We are proud to support and participate in multiple LCLD initiatives, and we are hoping through our partnerships and programming to make the legal profession more accessible to younger attorneys. In that vein, we are excited to host and engage with the LCLD Pathfinders when they visit next week.”

"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 Robert J. Grey Jr, LCLD President. The program does this, he 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.

“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," Grey said.

“Leading tangible change that drives inclusion in the legal profession is a priority for us and working with the LCLD Pathfinder Program is an important part of our strategy,” said LCLD Member Timothy Murphy, General Counsel and Chief Franchise Officer at Mastercard. “We’re looking forward to hosting the LCLD Pathfinders in November and preparing these young attorneys to be the legal leaders of tomorrow.”

“Our profession will be stronger with more successful diverse attorneys,” said Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer at Microsoft and Immediate Past Chair 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(dot)org or visit http://www.lcldnet.org.

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