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V&E Announces 2019 LCLD Fellow and Pathfinders

Vinson & Elkins counsel Quentin Smith has been selected as the firm’s Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Fellow for 2019 and senior associates Simone King and Rob Landicho have been selected as the firm’s 2019 LCLD Pathfinders.

Smith, a commercial litigator in V&E’s Houston office, joins more than 300 other mid-career attorneys from across the United States as part of the largest LCLD Fellows class since the program launched in 2011. LCLD’s Fellows Program includes in-house and law firm lawyers and is one of most comprehensive legal talent development programs in the country designed to advance the next generation of leaders in the legal profession.

King, a project and infrastructure finance lawyer in V&E’s New York office, and Landicho, who focuses on international commercial arbitration and is based in V&E’s Houston office, join LCLD’s Pathfinder Program supporting attorneys with at least three to five years of experience. The Pathfinder Program provides mentoring and training in critical career development strategies, including leadership skills development and building professional networks.

Over the course of these year-long programs, participants will be challenged to enhance their professional brand, build professional relationships, participate in corporate learning experiences and sharpen leadership skills.

“These talented individuals have been singled out for leadership by their organizations and represent a broad spectrum of backgrounds as diverse as the country they serve,” said Laura Stein, LCLD Chair and Executive Vice President and General Counsel of The Clorox Corporation.

Founded in 2009, LCLD is a national organization of more than 300 corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners who are personally committed to creating a more diverse and inclusive legal profession. V&E is a charter member of LCLD and received the organization’s Compass Award for commitment to diversity in 2018.

Maritza Okata, an M&A/Private Equity partner in V&E’s New York office, is a former LCLD Fellow and serves as Immediate Past Chair of LCLD’s Fellows Alumni Executive Council. Other former LCLD Fellows include V&E partners and counsel Manuel Berrelez, Devika Kornbacher, and Mingda Zhao. Former Pathfinders include V&E associates Carla Jordan-Detamore, Alex Kamel, Kent Piacenti, and Julia Tong.

“The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity has been instrumental both in promoting sustained dialogue at law firms and corporations about diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and in designing innovative programs that are influential in the advancement of high-potential diverse lawyers,” said Okata. “I remain inspired by the continued growth and influence of LCLD and the commitment to achieving meaningful change in the complexion of the legal profession through our collective efforts.”

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