2024 Fellows and Pathfinders Spring into Programming

SAN DIEGO, CA — From February 21–24, 2024, the brand-new Fellows and Pathfinder classes met face to face for the first time. The Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina, located on the waterfront near the historic Gaslamp district, served as a sun-filled gathering place for the 379 Fellows and 403 Pathfinders in attendance.

After a warm welcome from Sarah Alexander, LCLD Senior Manager of Pipeline & Early Career Programs, the 2024 Pathfinders dove into a thought-provoking first session with Carrie J. Fletcher, Affiliate Instructor, Harvard Law School Executive Education. In this session, Pathfinders used the TypeCoach Verifier Plus tool to help them understand their own default preferences around communication, information processing, and decision making.  

The Pathfinders closed out their first day with Networking Round Robin — a small-group speed networking activity designed to help them forge connections in a structured social environment. That evening, Pathfinders continued developing new relationships during Dine-Arounds, an LCLD tradition that brings together a handful of attendees for fun, informal dinners at local restaurants. 

The next day, the Pathfinders gathered for breakfast, an inspiring message from LCLD President Robert Grey, and their morning session: “The Art of Influencing Up” with Mary Abbajay, President and Founder, Careerstone Group, LLC. Mary led attendees through the dynamic landscape of professional relationships, sharing proven techniques for improving communication, cooperation, and collaboration among individuals with different power levels, perspectives, and personalities. Pathfinders left the session empowered to navigate upwards, build positive relationships with leaders, and strategically influence their career trajectories. 

After a group photo and lunch, the Pathfinders split into two groups for breakout sessions. One group heard from Aliah Berman, Global Chief Diversity Officer, TBWA Worldwide, on how to leverage their individual backgrounds and experiences to “Compete Boldly and Unconventionally.” This approach provided attendees with a roadmap to personal and business success grounded in authenticity, boldness, and unconventional ways of competing. 

Simultaneously, Michelle Silverthorn, Founder & CEO, Inclusion Nation, led the other group in a highly interactive session on imposter syndrome, ultimately exploring what individuals can do to battle feelings of exclusion and reconnect with the values they bring into their workplaces. After a short coffee break, the two groups switched rooms so that everyone had a chance to hear from both Aliah and Michelle. 

2024 Fellows

Meanwhile, the 2024 Fellows kicked off their own Spring Meeting with an inspirational welcome from LCLD President Robert Grey and LCLD Fellows Program Director Nichole Velasquez. Rudhir Krishtel, CEO and Facilitator, Krishtel Coaching, then led the Fellows in their first session. Attendees explored the role of trust in business relationships, learned the various levels of trust one can hold, and identified ways to engender trust with others — ultimately building tangible plans to continue developing their networks. The Fellows continued these conversations from the ballroom to the terrace for their own group photo, and then to their Dine-Arounds outside the hotel. 

The Pathfinders spent Thursday evening cruising around the San Diego Harbor aboard the Admiral Hornblower. Restaurants, shops, and walkways lit up the skyline along the shore, creating a lively backdrop for celebrating the class’s first meeting (and one Pathfinder’s upcoming nuptials!). 

After breakfast the next morning, Chris De Santis, Specialist in Management & Organizational Development, led the Pathfinders in their final session of the meeting: “Why I Find You Irritating: Navigating Generational Friction at Work.” Attendees mapped the evolution of the workplace through the eyes of different generations — from Boomers to Zoomers — and explored how events shape perceptions, perceptions become beliefs, and beliefs become the basis of our values. The Pathfinders left with a toolbox of strategies for rethinking workplace dynamics and improving cross-generational relationships. 

While the Pathfinders closed out their Spring Meeting with a few words from Sarah Alexander, the Fellows were on their second round of breakouts. One breakout, led by Tasneem Khokha, Managing Director, GrowthPlay, addressed how lawyers can step up, lean in, and lead their teams and organizations through times of uncertainty and upheaval. The other breakout explored the “Business Chemistry” framework with Deloitte’s Lori Lorenzo, Research & Insights Director and Erin Hess, Research & Insights Manager, Chief Legal Officer Program. Through this framework, Fellows identified meaningful differences between individuals’ working styles — categorized as Drivers, Guardians, Integrators, and Pioneers — to learn better ways of working together. 

2024 Pathfinders

That afternoon, Paula Edgar, CEO, PGE Consulting Group LLC, led Fellows in an action-oriented session on “Leveraging Personal Branding for Professional Success.” Designed to empower lawyers to take control of their career advancement, the session offered practical tools for developing strong personal brands and effectively communicating their value and experience to others. As the Fellows began to develop individual action plans, Paula shared her mother’s advice with the group: “You can be the wind, or you can be the leaf.” 

After an evening aboard the Admiral Hornblower for their own reception, the Fellows met on Saturday morning for two final sessions. First up, Mary Abbajay explored strategies for “Managing Up, Down & Across” traditional hierarchies to establish strong, productive working relationships. Then, Chris De Santis led the Fellows in a discussion on embracing generational diversity that focused specifically on the arrival of Gen Z, how the workforce’s youngest generation differs from others, and how they can best be engaged and retained in a hybrid workplace. Following Nichole’s closing remarks, Mary and Chris returned to the ballroom for a lunchtime Q&A session. 

The 2024 Spring Meetings left lasting impressions on all who attended. With a 96% satisfaction rate given by each class, it’s no wonder the enthusiasm was so palpable across all four days. We can’t wait to see these classes reconnect at the 2024 Fellows and Pathfinder Fall Meetings in Washington, DC.

Here’s what 2024 Fellows and Pathfinders are saying about the Spring Meetings on LinkedIn