Ellen Dwyer, chair of Crowell & Moring’s executive committee, will become head of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity on Jan. 1.
Dwyer, a partner in the firm’s employment practice and who served as the firm’s managing partner as well as its general counsel, will succeed Laura Stein, executive vice president and general counsel for the Clorox Company.
Stein chaired the organization that promotes diversity in the legal profession for the past two years.
The council also named a chair-elect, Kim Rivera, president of strategy and business management and chief legal officer of HP, Inc.
More than 300 corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners are members of the council, which was founded a decade ago to provide leadership opportunities, career advancement and facilitate networking for women and diverse lawyers.
The organization selects minority lawyers for fellowships, to bolster their chances to succeed in the legal profession.
Dwyer has been active in recruiting and retaining diverse lawyers at Crowell. She has led the firm’s promotions, diversity and lawyer development committee.
“We are looking forward to focusing on organizational change so highly talented people come back [because] their organizations are places to develop their careers,” Dwyer said.
She said she would like to see Crowell & Moring’s sponsorship model adopted more broadly. In this model, partners and senior lawyers help develop relationships with less senior lawyers to make clear their career possibilities and goals.
Another initiative she favors is partnerships between law firms and companies that give diverse lawyers opportunities to interact.
“They learn what clients would like to see in their relationships with their lawyers, and it has the added benefit of allowing lawyers to pitch business,” she said
Crowell & Moring is a Mansfield Rule-certified law firm, committing itself to considering diverse applicants for hiring and promotion. Crowell & Moring joined LCLD in 2010, the year after it was founded.
The council also said Ben Wilson, chairman of the law firm Beveridge & Diamond, was named secretary; and Eric Friedman, executive partner at law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, was named the organization’s treasurer.