Diversity in Law Hackathon Series
The 2018 Diversity in Law Hackathon series — two interconnected Shark Tank style pitch competitions created by the Diversity Lab in collaboration Bloomberg Law — is the largest and most innovative collective legal community initiative ever launched with the purpose of boosting diversity and inclusion in law firms and legal departments.
Law firms and legal departments interested in participating should contact Caren Ulrich Stacy at email@example.com.
Harvard Law School Executive Education is partnering with Diversity Lab to host the first Hackathon from February through June 2018. And Northwestern Law and UC Hastings are partnering with Diversity Lab to host the second Hackathon from July through November 2018.
Participants will be organized into teams of 8 law firm and legal department leaders who will meet in-person at the kick-off and then work together virtually for 3 or 4 months until the final in-person pitch event. The goal is to generate innovative ideas that will lead to an increased pipeline and greater retention and advancement of diverse lawyers in law.
The Hackathon Series Details
Participants: 56 high-level partners and management committee members from top law firms and 32 legal departments leaders from leading companies around the country.
Pitch Competition Dates & Hosts:
Spring Hackathon — Hosted By Harvard Law School Executive Education
February 14-15, 2018 (in-person kick-off event/Boston)
February – June, 2018 (teams work together virtually via phone)
June 21-22, 2018 (in-person pitch event/Boston)
Fall Hackathon — Hosted by Northwestern Law & UC Hastings College of Law
July 12-13, 2018 (in-person kick-off event, Northwestern/Chicago)
July – November, 2018 (teams work together virtually via phone)
November 1-2, 2018 (in-person pitch event, UC Hastings/San Francisco)
Pitch Teams: 8 teams of 3-4 law firm partners, 2-3 legal department leaders, one law student, and a team advisor
Attendee Benefits: The benefits include: (1) 8 weeks of on-demand learning on the topics listed below in advance of the Hackathon and four months of focused learning, strategizing, and collective wisdom sharing with law firm and legal department leaders devoted to advancing and retaining diverse lawyers during the Hackathon; (2) 16 innovative ideas to consider implementing post-Hackathon at the company; and (3) one year of access to the Diversity in Law Innovation Portal, home to an ever-growing library of data, research, and 200+ articles, webinars and other resources on diversity and inclusion.
Primary Partner/Sponsor: Bloomberg Law
Hackathon Challenge & Team Topics:
- True Inclusion, No Lawyer Left Behind – Involving everyone, including men and the majority, as active participants and allies to build and sustain a diverse and inclusive workforce; weaving policies and programs into the fabric of the organization to create a culture of inclusion to make them “sticky” and beneficial for everyone
- Diversity Pipeline – Expanding the pipeline of talented diverse lawyers entering the legal profession
- Equal & Fair Access to Opportunities – Facilitating equal access to work and influential power players (i.e., social capital) to create a fair and balanced approach to career growth and advancement
- Pay Parity – Identifying if and where the pay gap exists and working to close it in law firms and legal departments
- Leadership Gap – Increasing diversity and inclusion in the leadership ranks of law firms and legal departments as well as in the judiciary and other influential legal and business roles
- Unconscious Bias Interrupters – Mitigating unconscious bias in hiring, training/mentoring, feedback, performance reviews, promotions, and other talent management processes
- Diverse Teams – Creating and leveraging diverse teams to achieve better business results
- Lawyer Satisfaction & Retention – Boosting lawyer work satisfaction in combination with work/life integration and flexible work options to retain the best and most diverse talent
- Diversity & Inclusion Impact/Measurement – Creating a scorecard or standardized measurement of progress, impact, and ROI for diversity AND inclusion policies, programs, and efforts in the legal profession to be used by law firms, legal departments, and others
Special thanks to the following individuals for their incredible suggestions, feedback, and contributions as the Hackathon transitioned from concept to fruition.Lisa Kirby, Director of Research & Knowledge Sharing, Diversity Lab Kate Ryan, Design & Innovation Strategist, Diversity Lab Melanie Heller, Vice President & Chief of Staff, Bloomberg Law Scott Westfahl, Faculty Director, Executive Education, Harvard Law School Anusia Gillespie, Senior Manager of Program Development, Executive Education, Harvard Law School Sari Zimmerman, Assistant Dean, Career Development Office, UC Hastings College of the Law Juliann Cecchi, Assistant Dean, External Partnerships, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Alyson Carrel, Assistant Dean of Law & Technology Initiatives, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law