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Ellen Dwyer Moderates LCLD Panel Exploring New Ways to Increase Legal Diversity

Calls on membership to pledge to advance and enhance experience of diverse lawyers

Washington – October 22, 2021: The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity drew more than 1,400 members to its 12th Annual LCLD Membership Meeting this week, focused on ways to “reimagine” the legal profession of tomorrow as a more diverse place. One panel featured an in-depth discussion on the importance of law firms and corporations to make a personal and actionable pledge to advance and enhance the experience of diverse lawyers within their organizations.

Moderated by Ellen Dwyer, chair of Crowell & Moring’s Executive Committee and chair of the LCLD Board, the panel featured managing partners and general counsel who have made strong Leaders at the Front pledges to set diversity-related goals and implement systemic changes in their organizations. Panelists included: Carlos Brown, member, LCLD Board, and senior vice president and general counsel of Dominion Energy, Inc.; Katya Jestin, co-managing partner of Jenner & Block LLP; Joel Unruch, general counsel and corporate secretary of Accenture; and Hannah Kim, chief legal officer, chief compliance officer, and corporate secretary of Neiman Marcus Group, Inc. The discussion focused on the structure of their pledges and the areas of impact where LCLD members can spearhead change.

Last year, the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity launched its Leaders at the Front initiative to dismantle the systemic barriers that have historically thwarted women and diverse lawyers from achieving the highest levels of leadership within law firms and corporate legal departments. More than 120 LCLD Members have answered the call by publishing their pledges.

This year, the organization is requiring its 350 members, who include corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners, to make personal commitments to do their part to advance DE&I and to implement organizational changes that are specific, meaningful, and measurable. Led by Dwyer, LCLD’s board is committed to holding its member law firms and legal departments publicly accountable to execute on their commitments going forward.

“LCLD has been in existence for 10 years, and while we have made considerable progress in developing our talent, we recognized that a singular focus on talent development would not achieve the necessary systemic and organizational change in our profession. It was time, with the unique membership we have, to come together and make personal and organizational commitments as leaders to make fundamental changes in our cultures and the systems that have stalled the advancement of our diverse talent. We looked at each other as board members and said, ‘If this group of the most powerful general counsel and managing partners in the country can’t make progress, who can?’” Dwyer said.

Crowell & Moring is a longstanding member of LCLD and over the past decade has sponsored its partners, counsel, associates, and summer associates in a variety of pipeline programs that have provided leadership training and development for its diverse talent. 

About Crowell & Moring LLP

Crowell & Moring LLP is an international law firm with offices in the United States, Europe, MENA, and Asia that represents clients in litigation and arbitration, regulatory and policy, and transactional and corporate matters. The firm is internationally recognized for its representation of Fortune 500 companies in high-stakes litigation and government-facing matters, as well as its ongoing commitment to pro bono service and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

About LCLD

The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity is an organization of more than 350 corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners—the leadership of the profession—who have dedicated themselves to creating a truly diverse U.S. legal profession. Our action programs are designed to attract, inspire, and nurture the talent in society and within our organizations, thereby helping a new and more diverse generation of attorneys ascend to positions of leadership. By producing tangible results in the lives of talented individuals, we work to promote inclusiveness in our institutions, our circles of influence, and our society, with the ultimate goal of building a more open and diverse legal profession.


Rebecca Carr
Director of PR, Media and Communication