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ensure a base level of knowledge among diversity offi cers.

STRENGTH IN MEMBERS A critical component of ALFDP’s success is the recognition that voices of individual members are its strongest asset. When its initial members met, they knew instantly that sharing knowledge and using individual experi- ences to shed light on what was eff ective and what was not was fundamental to being successful change agents. And that contin- ues to this day. When a key mem- ber rotates out, she isn’t completely removed from the mix. “We’ve structured the board so there’s continuity. T e


past president is always on the board. In fact, our second president, Anna L. Brown, is often pulled into conference calls because we respect her wisdom. We’ve never let her go too far from the board,” says Cropper, referring to the longtime diversity offi cer at Shearman & Sterling LLP. Although Cropper will rotate off the board this year, she

plans to remain an active member and voice on the listserv. “It’s this large collective that has a big infl uence,” she says.

STRATEGIZING FOR THE FUTURE ALFDP is always evolving, and it continues to prepare for future developments in the profession. Its current strategic plan involves creating a certifi cation for diversity profession- als, enhancing its membership, education, and professional development initiatives, developing strategic alliances with other mission-aligned organizations, and developing and heightening the profi le of the ALFDP brand. A strong advocate of anticipating and preparing for the

future is current president Maja D. Hazell, the director of diversity and inclusion at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP. “It’s been my honor to lead our strong board in eff ectuating a fi ve-year strategic vision for the organiza-


tion,” she says. “ALFDP is a critical resource to legal profes- sionals engaged in challenging work to move diversity forward on the ground at law fi rms. Overseeing the formalization and expansion of our eff orts to provide sophisticated methods of content and service delivery has been very exciting,” she says. Alignment with orga-


nizations like MCCA, T e Association for Legal Career Professionals (NALP), the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), and

Corporate Counsel Women of Color (CCWC) has been eff ective in strengthening its impact. T e challenge, Cropper says, is anticipating change and determining what it will take to bring things to the next level. Most likely, as it evolves, the organization will continue to reach toward its members for their individual voices and collective experience. “T e beauty of our organization is that people are really

committed to their jobs. T ey really care. T ere’s a greater good to be served to make sure everyone does their best in these jobs,” says Cropper. “Our success is so dependent on each other. We’re not competitive at all. We want to col- lectively move this needle.” D&B

Kara Mayer Robinson is a freelance writer based near New York City. For information, visit


According to Theresa Cropper, the role of a diversity offi cer includes but is not limited to: support and accountability of and to the diversity committee, supporting the development of a diversity strategic plan, organizing or supporting affi nity groups, and identifying strategies for recruitment, retention and promotion of diverse attorneys. Diversity offi cers also manage metrics, deciding what should be measured and defi ning why those metrics matter. They also serve as a resource to clients and attorneys for client partnering and professional development, being leaders of strategy while developing tactics to make the strategy work.


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