Pre-Conference Program | Monday, April 8

Developing a Roadmap for Deliberate Diversity and Informed Inclusion
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Diversity and inclusion (D&I) continues to be a hot topic in the legal industry—all you have to do is read the latest headlines: “170 GCs Pen Open Letter to Law Firms: Improve on Diversity or Lose Our Business,” “A Black Partner Responds to GCs on Law Firm Diversity,” and “Partnership Classes Are Shrinking, Hampering Advancement and Diversity,” to name a few. Despite all the media coverage and at nauseum conversions, many legal marketers and business developers struggle in figuring out how to start the conversation at our firms, or we have “hit the wall” in our current efforts.

This half-day program is designed to address D&I topics in a format that allows for hearing perspectives from your fellow LMA colleagues and shared problem-solving using design thinking. Through breakout sessions and facilitated group debriefs, attendees will walk away with best practices, new ideas, and tactics to begin and accelerate D&I efforts within their respective firms.


1:00 p.m.

Co-Chairs’ Opening Remarks and Town Hall

In this fast-paced Town Hall-style session, you’ll deepen your awareness of the need for D&I and be empowered and equipped to build and support diverse and inclusive firm teams, programs and successful initiatives. You’ll also hear from your LMA peers in the room about their continued successes and challenges as they approach the D&I issues at their own firms and provide critical “group think” feedback to increase the success of D&I within the entire legal community.

1:30 p.m.

Champion Story

Everyone has a “champion story” to tell – either in their professional, personal or community lives. However, what many are missing is the heightened level of impact that they could – until now. Doneene Damon, President-Elect of Richards, Layton & Finger will share with us her story of successes and frustrations, discuss with us what’s next on her journey, and offer practical advice for you to follow and share with others as they start, or continue, their own journey.

2:15 p.m.

Design Thinking

When tackling an issue as complex as D&I, we need an approach that focuses on possibility rather than limitations; spurs creativity rather than relying on what has worked in the past; and allows for quick failure to continuously generate new ideas. It’s also important to remember that Design Thinking isn’t the final destination and it’s not always a linear process.

Participants will learn and apply the 5-steps of Design Thinking to help provide potential solutions to the above diversity and inclusions issues as well as the issues they are facing at their respective firms.
3:00 p.m.
3:15 p.m.

Facilitated Group Break-outs

There are many complex problems looming with D&I initiatives that your team members just want to get better at handling. We will break into smaller groups with the goal of addressing these issues and leaving with new strategies designed to counter the current issue preventing or hindering your team’s progress. Issues to be addressed include:

  • Building the case for a D&I program at your firm
  • How to foster an inclusive environment
  • Tying D&I to revenue generation
  • Combating “tokenism” and addressing D&I fatigue
  • Diversity metrics or taking a data-driven approach to D&I
  • How to start affinity and resource groups within your firms
4:00 p.m.

Group Report-Backs

Together, each group with present their problem and practical solutions to the entire audience.

4:45 p.m.
Wrap-Up and Final Q&A
5:00 p.m.
Program Concludes


Workshop Co-Chairs:

Jose Cunningham.jpgJosé Cunningham
Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer
Nixon Peabody LLP


Rafeedah Keys.jpgRafeedah A. Keys
Senior Marketing Manager
Perkins Coie LLP


Holly Barocio
Principal Consultant


Doneene-Damon.gifDoneene K. Damon
Current Executive Vice President and President-elect
Richards Layton & Finger, PA