Notes from the President & CEO
EXPANDED PRIORITIES FOR 2014
IN 2014 MCCA PLANS TO FOCUS ON THE MOST SUBSTANTIVE AREAS OR OUR MISSION AND TO DO SO IN THREE MAIN AREAS:
The first is pipeline programs. So much of our work to provide greater opportunities for women and minority lawyers will be for naught without a more diverse talent pool entering the profession. MCCA’s scholarship program has provided over $2.5 million in scholarship support for deserving law students in the last five years, but we need to do more. MCCA is increasing the scope of the scholarship with a pilot program that connects students with sponsor companies. The students will have an on-going relationship with sponsor companies, like DuPont, Microsoft, and Walmart, that will assist with training, provide internship opportunities, and will introduce a sustained and multi-year mentoring component. We are also developing relationships with existing programs that encourage students at a much earlier age to consider the law as a profession.
The second area of focus will be talent development. As an organization focused on all phases of the career trajectory, we will use all of our resources – publishing, networking, business development, speaking opportunities, training programs – to help develop the next generation of leaders of the profession and to expand both career and personal growth opportunities for lawyers within our network.
The third area of focus is what I will call member support and engagement. We saw, with the inception of our Leadership & Inclusion training programs, what a significant difference a hands on approach to member needs can make. We are looking closely at a more granular, individualized approach to the issues faced by our member organizations and will be taking a personal stake in their efforts to increase diversity and inclusion within their own ranks as well as among their external vendors, as appropriate.
In addition, we are moving our Diversity Gala from the Lincoln Center in New York City to the Kennedy Center in our own backyard, Washington, D.C. We continue to develop cutting edge programming for our three CLE programs and the successful Academy for Leadership & Inclusion training program will visit six cities around the country—even expanding into our northern neighbor by conducting a training session in Toronto.
Finally, we have a number of exciting research projects planned for release this year, the latest of which is our report on Generation Y – or “Millennials” as they are known, which is featured in this issue of Diversity & The Barand begins on page 28.
I know from experience that my millennial employees enjoy their flexible hours at MCCA. It is hard to reconcile their early experience with my own when I was starting as a young litigation associate. I did not take vacation for my first two years of practice and regularly logged 60 plus hour weeks. Times have changed. The truth is that millennials do an excellent job and I would be remiss to force them into an outdated model.
Joseph K. West