As the year draws to a close, it's probably natural to spend time reflecting on what you have accomplished during 2002. From my vantage point at MCCA®, my thoughts have been focused on the answers to the following questions:
- Have MCCA's time and resources been allocated in a mission-achievement manner?
- Have our research materials, publications, educational conferences, and diversity information served the audiences for which they were prepared?
- Have we held steadfast to our vision to be a guiding light and thought-leader on diversity issues for corporate law departments and the law firms that serve them?
- What have we done this year to connect with other organizations that share the goal of building a more diverse and inclusive profession, and have we worked with them as a good partner?
- Who have we helped and whom have we inspired?
These five basic questions boil down to one critical assessment: whether the organization has added value to the profession. Despite being a bit biased, I feel confident in saying that 2002 has been a break-through year for MCCA. Thus my answer is, yes!
As I've traveled throughout the United States and to London taking MCCA's message on the road, I have met some amazing people and they have shared some wonderful stories.
Recently in Chicago, an African-American woman approached me during a conference to express thanks for MCCA's career guidance and for helping her to build a network of contacts. She had just landed a position as general counsel of a Midwestern corporation. It was equally fulfilling to learn from one of the partners who spoke at MCCA's First Annual CLE Expo that he had been invited to meet with the litigation manager of a Fortune 100 client, who had attended the conference and was impressed by this talented person of color.
Another personally satisfying moment occurred earlier this year when a white male law student, who lacked a mentor, asked me to help him polish his resume. He landed his first legal job working at the law firm of an MCCA member corporation.
Each day, in ways large and small, you and I have the opportunity to add value to the profession and the lives of our colleagues. Seize the day!
Veta T. Richardson
From the December 2002 issue of Diversity & The Bar®