Attorney Mentoring Programs Encourages Diversity in The Legal Profession

Attorney Mentoring Programs Encourages Diversity in The Legal Profession

03/14/2011

Mentoring programs are sometimes considered as practically worthless, but the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity hopes to change this by doing something different. It plans to single out up-and-coming attorneys and put them directly in the path of the law firm managing partners and the general counsel of some of the nation’s largest companies.

The aim of the Fellows Program of the council is to help diversify the legal profession by producing attorneys that possess strong leadership, as well as networking skills, and who are committed to encourage diversity within their individual institutions.

The council will begin the program over the weekend with a meeting in New York of over 100 fellows, who will rub elbows with various managing partners.

According to Roderick Palmore, the general counsel of General Mills Inc and chairman of the council, although the concept is not novel but the group that they have involved is different. “We’ve got the leadership of impactful organizations and law firm leaders. These are the people making up the faculty of the program,” said Palmore.

Among those slated to teach segments of the program is Geoffrey Kelley, the General Counsel of Coca-Cola Co., and Dennis Broderick, Macy’s Inc General Counsel.

Established in 2009, the council aims to promote diversity throughout the legal profession through the involvement of top leaders at firms and legal departments. The group includes around 65 corporations and 100 firms, and to date, the fellows program is the highest-profile initiative.

The past year was spent by the council in smoothing out the concept and details of the highly structured program. This was revealed by Gregory Jordan, the managing partner of Reed Smith and co-chairman of the talent development committee of the group.

WRITTEN BY:

blakeh@wellsdrew.com