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.


The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) announced this week that 220 diverse attorneys from 140 LCLD member law firms and corporations have been selected for the 2019 Pathfinder Program. This program, which has served more than 450 lawyers since its inception in 2015, trains early-career attorneys, who have been identified as future leaders by their organizations, in critical career-development strategies including leadership and the building of professional networks.

"The Pathfinder Program was designed to accommodate high-achieving 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 providing next-level leadership training and professional development skills that both groups share, while also focusing on the disparate needs of the two groups.

This week, the 2019 Pathfinders will attend an intensive three-day training hosted by LCLD member corporation Eli Lilly & Company in Indianapolis, IN. Then in November, the Pathfinders will come together for their second training at Nationwide in Columbus, OH. Host organizations will provide insight into their business strategies as well as how partnerships between inside and outside counsel are most successful.

“The attorneys chosen by their organizations to be Pathfinders will one day be the leaders of our profession,” said Michael Harrington, Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Eli Lilly and Company, and an LCLD Board Member. “When that day comes, they will be better lawyers, leaders, and developers of diverse talent because of the time they took to dedicate themselves to their own development. The Pathfinder Program is a peerless development program for young lawyers and Lilly is proud to be a part of it.”

“Nationwide has benefitted greatly from its participation in the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity,” says Mark Howard, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer at Nationwide, and LCLD Member. “Our leaders continue to gain critical skills, valuable insights, and broader perspective through their involvement with LCLD, which we then witness them applying directly to their jobs here at Nationwide. I’m delighted that Nationwide will be hosting the Pathfinders in Columbus this November.”

In between the two meetings, Pathfinders will have a number of opportunities to further develop their leadership and networking skills. Pathfinders will work with a Program Facilitator to identify new leadership opportunities, stretch assignments, and career-advancing opportunities within their organizations. Pathfinders will also participate in career-development e-learning modules and peer-to-peer learning groups, and will interact with LCLD Fellows Alumni (high-achieving mid-career attorneys) through small group conversations over lunch.

As part of the greater LCLD community, during the program and beyond, Pathfinders will have a variety of opportunities to network with alumni from all LCLD programs at regional events led by experts on leadership and career development, as well as from various executives at hosting corporations.

“All of that comes together for the member organizations, both corporations and law firms, to help these attorneys progress and excel within their organizations, and ultimately become leaders within the profession,” Grey said.

“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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Jessica Sabesan
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