WASHINGTON -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) announced this week that it has received a $250,000 contribution from Microsoft Corporation to support strategic initiatives to diversify leadership and development opportunities across the legal profession.
It is the largest contribution received to date by the five-year-old organization, according to LCLD Executive Director Robert J. Grey Jr.
“This is an extraordinary expression of confidence in what this generation of leaders in the law is doing to expand leadership opportunities in the profession,” said Grey. “This gift will enable us to expand and strengthen the programs we believe will advance the careers of the rising generation of diverse talent in our profession.”
LCLD, composed of the Managing Partners of the nation’s leading law firms and the General Counsel of Fortune 500 corporations, has taken on a multi-year “Talent to Leadership” commitment. Its programs reach diverse law students through mentoring and first-year (1L) initiatives and also provide career development and networking opportunities for attorneys who have been identified by their firms or corporate legal departments as rising leaders.
As of January 2014, LCLD’s programs have reached more than 2,500 law students through its nationwide mentoring effort, 300 law students through its 1L Scholars program, and 400 diverse attorneys through its Fellows program.
“It is critical that we identify strong diverse lawyers and create leadership opportunities for them,” said Brad Smith, Chair of the LCLD board of directors and General Counsel and Executive Vice President for Microsoft Corporation. “Unless the legal profession makes faster progress, it will miss out on the dynamism and creativity that diversity brings. We need a legal profession that is as diverse as the country we serve – a prerequisite for healthy legal service for a democracy.”