Leadership. Action. Results. That is the mission of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD); a mission that Morrison & Foerster Partner Bonnie Lau is eager to sustain and advance in her newest position. Bonnie, who served as chair-elect last year, was officially named chair of LCLD’s Alumni Executive Council at the 2020 Virtual Leadership Symposium on Friday, June 12, 2020.
A record number of LCLD alumni attended and reconnected at the Virtual Leadership Symposium. During Bonnie’s remarks, she recognized the uncertainty, fear, and isolation that we are all feeling because of current world events, urging that “now is the time for protest, engagement, and allyship,” and calling for a “renewed call to action” to defend racial justice, equal administration of the law, and promote diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.
LCLD Founder Rick Palmore authored the legal industry manifesto titled, “A Call to Action,” which has been a powerful tool in urging general counsel to drive diversity and inclusion at their partner law firms, and ultimately resulted in the creation of the LCLD. LCLD’s renewed call to action seeks to build on the original manifesto and create three new initiatives:
(1) Create advocacy groups, regional programming, and virtual roundtable events to connect, support, and prioritize the mental and emotional health of diverse attorneys;
(2) Prepare and collect resources to help LCLD alumni and diverse attorneys steer conversations with their colleagues and leadership, encourage organizations to improve the diversity of their leadership and board composition, and educate colleagues on issues such as anti-racism, microaggressions, implicit bias, white privilege, and reinforce the need for non-diverse allies; and
(3) Consider avenues for LCLD alumni to increase their pro bono hours devoted to racial justice matters, and encourage donations to organizations working to help end systemic racism and protect equal administration of the law.
In her closing comments, Bonnie sounded a note of optimism, stating that, “I fundamentally believe that out of this crisis, this moment in time is a historic opportunity for the United States to confront its original sin, change its institutionalized systems of oppression, and come out of this a more diverse and inclusive country, with true liberty and justice for all.”
LCLD is a collection of over 320 corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners, working together to enhance diversity and openness in the legal field. MoFo has been an active member of the organization since its founding in 2011. Eight current MoFo partners have been selected as LCLD Fellows for their commitment to promoting diversity, LGBTQ+, and women’s issues within their professional communities.
Read more about MoFo’s commitment to diversity and inclusion here.