February 24, 2020

Cocktails and CLE

BCLC kicks off new regional event series with a San Francisco social and learning evening.

The Business and Corporate Litigation Committee held its first regional “Cocktails and CLE” event in San Francisco on January 30, 2020 at the offices of Paul Hastings LLP.  “Cocktails and CLE” -- a complimentary event for local practitioners – is an opportunity to socialize, earn CLE credit and connect with the Committee and the Business Law Section.   

The panel discussion in the CLE portion of the evening was titled, “Moving the Needle: Real-World Diversity And Inclusion Initiatives For In-House And Outside Counsel.”  Moderated by Bradford K. Newman of Paul Hastings, the panelists included Jane Howard-Martin (Vice President and Assistant General Counsel for Toyota Motor North America, Inc.); Nathalie Lengoc (Senior Counsel, Global Labor & Employment at Salesforce); Peter Kim (Vice President, Culture and Counsel at Thermo Fisher Scientific); and the Honorable Ming Chin, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California.

The renowned panel discussed the benefits and challenges diversity and inclusion (“D&I”) in the legal profession.  The panelists addressed initiatives undertaken by in-house and outside counsel aimed to increase D&I in the legal field, practical approaches to advance diversity and inclusion in the legal field, and ways to build upon and increase the successes to date.  They also provided a business perspective of the advantages of D&I, leavened with the judicial perspective from Justice Chin.  The discussion focused on several key factors and concrete steps that have improved diversity and inclusion in the workspace and can be the basis for further improvements.  Some of these key factors included acknowledging and addressing implicit and constructive bias in a constructive way, recognizing and celebrating each individual’s differences and unique perspectives, and the actions that allies should take in the workspace in order to improve diversity and inclusion.  The audience participated actively in the discussion and took the panel well past the allocated one-hour mark.

The evening also included ample time before and after the panel for attendees to mingle, socialize, drink and eat.  The Committee is grateful to Paul Hastings for providing the space, refreshments and logistical support.  Special thanks go to the panelists, who gave of their time to share their insights; to Brad Newman, Jessica Mendelson, Emily Stover, and Aliana Flagsberg-Tsai, who put the CLE presentation together; to Hon. Gail Andler, who together with Brad recruited the panelists; and to Section Staff, who took care of the administrative tasks needed to make the evening a success.

The Committee plans to present two “Cocktails and CLE” each year going forward, in different sections of the country.  The next one is tentatively planned for late May or early June in Atlanta.  After that, the event may well be presented in a city near you, so keep your eyes peeled for the announcements.