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Session Descriptions


OPENING PLENARY SESSION: Revisiting the Business Case for Diversity What has changed in your organization over the last 3-5 years? Probably a lot! Here is your opportunity to revisit the business case for diversity within your organization to account for new gains and losses. What role is diversity playing now? What are your organization’s new needs in making it more diverse? Is diversity a moving target? How have changes in the demographics in your organization affected the case for diversity? This discussion will be a fresh look at the business case for diversity. Learn what has changed, and what hasn’t, as you continue your advocacy work.


LUNCHEON PROGRAM: Her Stories: The Evolving Role of Women in Business & Law Serving as general counsel of a major corporation is perhaps the apex of achievement for any lawyer in America. Although the U.S. has thousands of qualified lawyers, only a select 500 can hold this position for the largest public companies in the country –the Fortune 500. The impressive narrative of the journey of women ascending to these positions in waves over the last 30 years has been recorded in a new book about women general counsel. Our panel will feature a review of this new work, as well as a chance for you to hear directly from some of the dynamic women who have personally travelled this road. This is a rare insider presentation not to be missed!


LAW FIRM TRACK 101. The Interplay between the Corporate Legal Spend, Diversity & Client Satisfaction Every law firm lawyer wants a satisfied client; especially a client satisfied with the firm’s services, diversity and its fees. This session is about keeping the business on all fronts. You will learn about the corporate budget, how legal spending as corporate overhead is managed aggressively, how billing by diverse attorneys factors into this review, and how expenses are scrutinized by internal stakeholders. This discussion will also cover how you can test your client’s satisfaction with your services and fees. Come hear directly from in-house counsel about how you can really retain their business.


102. Beyond Race, Gender & Ethnicity: The Advancement of Latinas in Large Law Firms Hispanic women make up approximately 7 percent of the U.S. population but only 1.3 percent of the nation’s lawyers. According to the report “Few and Far Between: The Reality of Latinas in the Legal Profession,” the culmination of a year-long study conducted by the HNBA’s Commission On the Status of Latinas in the Legal Profession, there are documented obstacles facing Latina lawyers in the profession. The intersection of gender, ethnicity, and race is a significant challenge for Latinas, many having encountered a multi-layered glass ceiling that acts as a three-way threat to their careers. This discussion will focus on these challenges and what law firms can do to specifically support the needs of this population of lawyers.


103. Transparency & Advancement of Diverse Law Firm Attorneys How transparent is your law firm about partnership and management? Do the women, racial/ethnic minority, and LGBT lawyers in the firm really know how to become partners, the process for successful ascension within the partner ranks, how to go from income to equity partnership, and how to get into firm management? Come discover the risks and rewards for making this information available. Learn best practices for helping your diverse lawyers stay informed about how to advance in your law firm.


LAW DEPARTMENT TRACK 201. Inspiring the Very Youngest: Corporate Legal Departments & Pre-collegiate Pipeline Initiatives


The path from elementary, middle and high school to corporate legal departments seems like a long road. But, many legal departments are doing their part to encourage the very youngest in our diverse society to consider


a career in law and in corporate legal departments. This inspiring session will cover a variety of programming across the country designed especially for the pre-collegiate pipeline of diverse talent. Learn how you can get involved and what your legal department can do to impact this very important issue.


202. Special Considerations: The In-House Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Lawyer Experience This session is designed to help you learn whether there are issues facing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender attorneys in corporate legal departments that are unique. The panel will cover the perceptions and experiences of LGBT attorneys in corporate legal departments; the impact of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression on the professional development, opportunities, and career progression of LGBT attorneys in corporate legal departments; and how corporate legal departments can create and maintain inclusive environments that ensure equal opportunities for the success of LGBT attorneys. You will walk away knowing how your corporate legal department can create a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender friendly workplace today.


203. Chief Legal Diversity Officers & Minority Counsel Liaisons: Growing Trend or Idealist Hope? The July/August issue of the ACC Docket recommends that general counsel elevate the importance of diverse attorneys representing the company by establishing an internal position of chief legal diversity officer or minority counsel liaison. Learn which companies in the profession have already done this. What can your company learn about creating such a role? This discussion will focus on the pros and cons, best practices, and strategic plans for creating such an innovative position.


MARKETING DIVERSITY TRACK 301. Affinity Groups: A Study of Model Programs at Law Firms & Legal Departments A large percent of Fortune 500 companies have “affinity groups” which are typically formed voluntarily by employees to address issues of common interest relating to a particular characteristic commonly associated with diversity, such as race or gender. They are often created to boost employee morale, increase productivity, attract and retain diverse talent and may be used as a marketing tool for business development. Many legal departments have adopted such groups for their lawyers and affinity groups are increasingly being introduced at law firms as well. Has your organization considered creating affinity groups? What are the risks and rewards? How do you sell the idea internally? Are they effective and how do you go about getting your lawyers involved? This informative discussion will help you answer your most pressing questions about whether this program is a good fit for your legal department or law firm.


302. Driving Change: Inspiring Titleless Leaders in Your Organization How do you motivate your staff to drive change on diversity when they are not decision makers? Is there such a thing as leadership without a title? This discussion is designed to help you inspire your team to be leaders, even when they do not have a leadership role. From the administrative professionals in your organization, to the most senior lawyers in the group, each of us can play a part in advancing diversity. This session will give you key strategies to take home and share with those you manage to keep them motivated.


303. The Inclusion Initiative: Corporate Collaboration & the Use of Minority & Women Owned Law Firms In 2010, 11 major corporations, along with the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF), created the Inclusion Initiative. The Initiative is an organized effort to maximize the relationships between corporate legal departments and minority and women owned law firms (MWBE) throughout the U.S. and was created to have a demonstrable impact on diversity in the legal profession. Through this initiative, these pioneering companies committed to collectively spend $30 million with MWBE law firms in the first year and challenged other companies to follow their lead. The goal was surpassed, with member companies having spent $42.6 million with MWBE last year. This year, the Initiative has grown to 17 companies with a $70 million goal. Join this session to learn more about the Inclusion Initiative from leaders of the member law departments and what


it takes to participate. Hear the success stories and best practices of member companies in developing key relationships with MWBE law firms and in their use of these firms for a wide array of complex legal matters.


CAREER STRATEGIES TRACK 401. Who’s the Boss? What kind of boss are you? Lawyers do not always get formal training on or feedback about their performance managing people, projects, turn over, motivating staff, leveraging diversity and differences among staff members, or their hiring and firing decisions. However, lawyers must possess these critical human resource skills to lead productive teams and deliver legal services to in-house and outside clients. This interactive session will test your skills for managing problems as a boss. Will you pass the test for determining who’s really the boss?


402. Lawyer Executives: A Behind the Scenes Look at JDs in the C-Suite Do you love the business being transacted behind the law you are practicing? Have you ever wondered what it might be like to be a lawyer in the top executive seat at a Fortune 500 company? This interesting discussion will give you a glimpse of what it is like to lead a large corporation while being a lawyer. Learn how to better serve your business and legal clients, and if you are really interested, what it will take for you to get to the C-suite!


403. When It Stops Raining: A Study of Outsourcing and the Pulse of Legal Business What happens when your in-house legal department downsizes or outsources some or all of your work? What happens when you as a rainmaker hit a drought? After so many years practicing, you may find that you need to fend for yourself more than ever before. This session will inform you on how to handle these types of changes in your career or organization. You will learn strategies on how to keep ahead of the pulse of your industry or business. This session will cover where the hot new business is coming from and help you learn how to figure out where your client’s business needs may be going? Join this discussion to learn best practices for managing your long-term career trajectory.


WORK PLACE 2020 TRACK 501. Attitudes & Opinions: Generation Y Speaks about their Workplace in 10 Years MCCA is engaged in an effort to assist the legal profession revamp its approach to human resources to meet the challenges of the career advancement of Generation X and Y. MCCA is conducting a study of the views of Generation Y attorneys about what they hate and like about today’s legal workplace, and what the workplace would look like if they could be in charge. This panel will present the results of this study and discuss how organizations can best prepare for these coming changes. Don’t miss this opportunity to stay ahead of the curve in preparing your organization for the workplace in 2020!


502. Leveraging a New Generation of Cultural Competency As a whole, Generation Y attorneys may have been more exposed to various cultures than any previous generation and may be the most savvy generation using social media. Organizations are doing business all over the world, and being in tune with cultural differences is an imperative to be competitive. Responding to globalization of the workplace, employees worldwide are developing a new suite of cross-cultural, language and technology skills that will equip them to prosper in a more multinational environment. This session will discuss how generational diversity issues intersect with globalization; how knowledge about global issues can serve lawyers in the profession; and how your organization can leverage these changes to grow business, make the workplace more desirable to attract the best talent and succeed.


503. The Transition of a Generation: How Your Organization Can Successfully Navigate the Exodus of Baby Boomers Within almost every organization, increasing numbers of senior attorneys will be retiring in the next several years. Organizations are responding to this demographic transition in various ways with a goal of assisting and supporting succession/transition planning over time. What are take home strategies for your organization for dealing with these changes? Come learn how your organization can be uniquely prepared to handle this transition, whether you are at a law firm or in a legal department.


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