Corporate Counsel Division
The National LGBT Bar Association’s Corporate Counsel Division is dedicated to increasing the awareness of LGBT attorneys in the corporate sphere as well as developing best hiring practices for firms that seek to do business with the most prestigious companies in America. The group has produced networking events acknowledging leaders in the profession — from “Out & Proud” corporate counsel to straight allies — and is committed to helping inform clients that LGBT diversity in the profession is crucial to their business case.
Corporate Counsel Membership
The LGBT Bar’s Corporate Counsel Division currently has 350 members from large and small corporations across the country. The majority of division members represent the banking, technology and entertainment industries, as noted below.
Our corporate counsel members hail from leading organizations such as Wells Fargo, Microsoft, Prudential Financial, Liberty Mutual, Accenture, GlaxoSmithKline and many others.
To join the corporate counsel division, please e-mail Kelly Simon.
Visit our events page to view upcoming corporate counsel receptions.
Networking and Recognition
Out and Proud Corporate Counsel Award Receptions
The Out & Proud Corporate Counsel Awards recognize outstanding lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and straight ally corporate counsel for their efforts to expand LGBT diversity within the legal profession.
The LGBT Bar is proud to honor corporate counsel who advance LGBT equality within the workplace. This year we have recognized Christopher Murphy, vice president and deputy general counsel for DIRECTV; the legal department of Shell Oil Company; and John Myung and the legal department of Prudential Financial. A full list of past award winners can be found here.
We welcome your nominations for Out & Proud Corporate Counsel awardees as well as suggestions for cities in which we could host future award receptions. If you would like to suggest a nominee or a city, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Corporate Counsel Meeting at Lavender Law
A one-hour business meeting during the annual Lavender Law® Conference and Career Fair enables corporate counsel to learn about the ongoing efforts of this division, to get more involved and to share information with their corporate peers.
Be sure to join the National LGBT Bar Association’s page on LinkedIn to connect with other in-house attorneys and fellow LGBT Bar members.
Lavender Law General Programming
The 25th Anniversary Lavender Law Conference and Career Fair will be held from August 22-24, 2013 at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco, California. The three-day conference draws over 1,500 attendees and features over 35 workshops and panel discussions. The career fair, held on the first day of the conference, draws over 500 students and features over 160 recruiters. The schedule for Lavender Law can be found here.
The LGBT Bar has created a library of videos that pertain to current legal issues that the LGBT community faces throughout the country. Topics include family law, ethics, HIV/AIDS, employment, and many others. Practicing attorneys can view and gain credit if their jurisdiction requires it. To view the online CLE page, click here.
Corporate Counsel Programming at Lavender Law
The LGBT Bar will offer an expanded menu of programming for its corporate counsel members at the 2012 Lavender Law Conference and Career Fair. Events include:
- Business Meeting of the Corporate Counsel Division
- Social Reception
- Speed Interviews
Research & Support
MCCA In-house Counsel Model Program, Corporate Law Department Best Practices and Invisible Bar Publication
The Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s publication (released in 2003), Creating Pathways to Diversity®: Perspectives from the Invisible Bar — Gay & Lesbian Attorneys in the Profession, is a collection of articles and research reports examining how sexual orientation affects attorneys in law firms and departments. The full text of the publication can be found here.
MCCA’s most recent publication (released in 2010) on LGBT diversity in the legal sphere, Sustaining Pathways to Diversity: The New Paradigm of LGBT Inclusion: A Recommended Resource for the Legal Workplace is located here.
In addition, MCCA has published a report on diversity practices within the legal profession called, Sustaining Pathways to Diversity: A Comprehensive Examination of Diversity Demographics, Initiatives, and Policies in Corporate Legal Departments. The publication can be found here.
MCCA’s in-depth study on best practices for corporate law departments can be found here.
D’Arcy Kemnitz, executive director of the LGBT Bar, published an article, Lesbian Lawyers: Survival in the Workplace, on MCCA’s website, which also focuses on LGBT diversity within the legal profession.
Attracting, Advancing and Retaining LGBT Lawyers by Lisa Linsky
This book describes the unique issues facing LGBT attorneys at law firms and the steps firms can take to ensure an inclusive and supportive work environment. Also included are are suggestions for meeting diversity requirements of outside counsel and lateral hires. The full text of Attracting, Advancing and Retaining LGBT Lawyers can be found here.
Association of Corporate Counsel Publications on Diversity
The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) has published a number of articles and studies on diversity in the legal profession. The resources are as follows:
Many companies have included sexual orientation in their nondiscrimination policies, yet violations of the clauses have been hard to enforce in court. Read the ACC’s article on how in-house counsel can help reverse this trend.
Read a workshop presentation on what’s new and what’s next in terms of diversity in the legal profession.
A personal account of one woman’s experiences in struggling with gender identity and expression in the workplace and how companies can be more accepting of employees in similar situations.
Transgender attorneys discuss coming out in the workplace.
Learn about the many issues that stand in the way of inclusiveness and increased diversity within law departments and, most importantly, how to combat these issues.
The Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index Ranks High With America’s Top Law Firms
HRC’s General Counsel Rob Falk lays out an airtight argument for why law firms should not only participate in HRC’s annual Corporate Equality Index (CEI) survey, but why they should actively work to rank among the highest scores. The link to the article can be found here.
Connecting to Outside Counsel
Directory of LGBT Firms and Partners
The LGBT Bar provides a directory of LGBT law partners and LGBT-owned firms. To view the directory, click here.
The Corporate Counsel Division would like to become more involved with LGBT-owned law firms that work with corporate clients. If you believe your firm fits the description, please fill out this form to provide us with your information.
Vault and MCCA have created a Law Firm Diversity Database, which contains information about the diversity programs at over 250 major law firms. To view the database, click here.
Speed Interviewing at Lavender Law
Corporate Counsel Speed Interviews provide focused, intimate networking opportunities for corporate legal departments to identify LGBT outside counsel specifically chosen to meet their needs based on areas of practice, type of firm and geography. Law firm associates and partners can practice their interview skills and business development pitches in a safe environment and begin the conversations that can lead to longer-term relationships.
To learn more about the corporate counsel programs at Lavender Law, click here.
Social Reception at Lavender Law
A one-hour reception following the business meeting allows corporate counsel to continue networking in a more relaxed setting.
Best Practices for In-House Programs
Brother Outsider Documentary
The film is a biography of Bayard Rustin, an openly gay man during the 1940s, 50s and 60s. Many corporations and law firms have used the film in their diversity efforts. To read more about Brother Outsider, click here.
Recruiting In-House Candidates
Lavender Law Career Fair
The Lavender Law® Career Fair, held on the first day of the conference, draws over 500 students and features over 130 recruiters. Corporations can use the opportunity to discuss their company’s diversity efforts as well as meeting with top candidates from around the country.
Corporate Counsel are welcome to post job openings on the LGBT Bar’s job board, found here.