CLI has created an initiative that involves prominent corporate general counsel and managing partners. They meet annually to create solutions to the retention/advancement issues that research demonstrates have greater impacts on diverse attorneys. Scott Wilensky, General Counsel of Xcel Energy, now leads this initiative. The Roundtable was formerly led by Michael Connelly, former Vice President and General Counsel of Xcel Energy (2010 - 2011) and Rich Baer, former CAO and GC of Qwest Communications (2009 - 2010).
Retention Model for Leaders
CLI's GC/MP Retention Roundtable members created a Diverse Attorney Retention Model for Leaders. The model contains action items that address the following core questions legal leaders ask with regard to diversity and inclusiveness:
1. Personal Leadership: What concrete steps can I take as the leader in my organization to increase diversity and create a culture of inclusion within the organization?
2. Team Leadership: What can I do as the leader in my organization to create a team of people that can effectively lead efforts to increase diversity and create a culture of inclusion within the organization?
3. Next Level Leadership: What can I do as the leader in my organization to create greater understanding with next level leaders (i.e. Practice Group Leaders) and gain their buy-in to increase diversity and create a culture of inclusion within the organization?
4. Urgency/Business Case: What can I do as the leader in my organization to communicate a sense of urgency regarding diversity and inclusiveness and get past organizational inertia (and other barriers) on these topics?
5. Including White Men: What can I do as the leader in my organization to create greater awareness of the issues among white men in the organization and communicate the importance of the role they play in increasing diversity and creating cultures of inclusion?
Read the March 2011 article "CLI’s Diverse Attorney Retention Initiative for General Counsel and Managing Partners."
The GCs/designated corporate counsel participating in the GC/MP Retention Roundtable include:
Chair: Scott Wilensky – Xcel Energy
- Fiona Arnold – Vail Resorts
- Greg Buehne – CoBank
- Shawn Cheadle – Lockheed Martin Space Systems - Military Space Division
- Doug Friednash – Denver City Attorney
- Jeff Gearhart – Walmart
- Dennis Kaw – Appliance Factory Outlet
- Laurie Korneffel – CenturyLink
- Kevin MacCary – United Launch Alliance
- Annita Menogan – Red Robin Gourmet Burgers
- Margaret McLean – CH2M HILL
- Dan McNulty – Lockheed Martin Space Systems
- Liza Orr – Equity Advisor Solutions
- Rhonda Parish – Einstein Noah
- Lee Reichert - Molson Coors Brewing Company
- Kim Rivera – DaVita
- Karen Ripley – MillerCoors
- Cindy Ryan – Johns Manville
- Mark Yonkman – National Bank Holdings Corporation
Step Up For Diversity - An Innovative Inclusiveness Initiative
Members of the GC/MP Roundtable also participate in CLI's Step Up for Diversity: Take Action to Build an Inclusive Legal Profession™ initiative. This innovative retention initiative helps diverse and female attorneys build crucial relationships for success and helps create a more inclusive legal profession overall.
In Fall 2011, CLI launched Step Up for Diversity as a national, grassroots online campaign for all attorneys - encouraging them to take small steps for big change in the legal profession. In Fall 2012, CLI introduced the next generation of Step Up for Diversity focusing on Colorado corporate counsel. Through April 2013, eight Colorado law departments are engaging their outside counsel (that are also CLI members) in five action items to create more opportunities for success for diverse and female attorneys, including contacting diverse/female attorneys from these firms directly. Participants will be recognized at CLI's annual Legal Inclusiveness & Diversity Summit on May 6, 2013.
Learn more about Step Up for Diversity.
Focus Group June 2011
CLI hosted a Focus Group Discussion on the Retention and Advancement of Diverse Attorneys on June 30, 2011 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Denver, Colorado. Corporate counsel, diverse law firm partners and managing partners from CLI member organizations participated in a facilitated discussion with Dr. Arin Reeves, Nextions LLC. Together the group discussed barriers for diverse law firm partners and collaboratively created specific action items for each group to individually implement. The action items provide the foundation for CLI's national campaign Step Up For Diversity.
Leadership Excellence Award
A 2010 Leadership Diversity and Inclusiveness Competition
Winner: Larry Theis - Holme Roberts & Owen (now Bryan Cave HRO)
In March 2010, Rich Baer created a retention leadership competition whereby managing partners and general counsel identified a leadership action item to begin implementing in their respective organizations. Thirty firms and legal departments participated. Holme Roberts & Owen LLP and Larry Theis, a partner and Chair of HRO’s Executive Committee, were announced as the winners in November 2010. Larry/HRO took top honors for implementing an action item that called for the firm to make inclusiveness a same-level priority as other business initiatives. Press release.
Questions/More Information about the GC/MP Retention Roundtable:
Contact CLI Executive Director Kathleen Nalty or call 303.832.3503.