“Keep Showing Up” is a phrase that Des Linden, an American long distance runner, and winner of the Boston Marathon, repeats often. It’s a mantra that I use in my own running, particularly as I come back from injury and need to regularly remind myself that training is about showing up, even when it’s hard, and even when I don’t want to. I recently put it on a letter board in my office to remind myself of its importance in my life.

But its importance in other ways really crystallized for me recently as the Black Lives Matter movement gained global traction and became something that (as it should) matters too to brands, to white people, to all of us.

I debated a long time about writing this post, but I keep seeing that sign in my office, to “Keep Showing Up.”

I am a perfectionist, so I always want to do, and say, the right things. That has often kept me silent on things that matter, because I don’t want to make a mistake. But what I have learned in doing the work over the past several months is that speaking up is more important than getting it right. Listening is still essential, and I am doing that too. But being okay with getting things wrong (and being corrected, and doing better) is part of my learning process. Should be part of all of our learning process. So I am showing up. That means I am showing up personally, and I am showing up professionally.

We have shared a statement of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, and that was a first step in showing up. But I know, very deeply, that we as an organization can do better. We need better representation on our board. We need better representation in our membership. We need better representation in our speakers. These are things I recognize, and will do better on. We cannot pay lip service to this. I promised my members last year that we were going to be having some uncomfortable conversations about gender and race, and I meant it. I’ll be showing up to be uncomfortable too. I know I’m going to make mistakes, and I welcome feedback on that.

One of the things I am committed to doing more of is amplifying black voices, and there have been many people this week who have shared their perspectives and stories. I am grateful to them for their labor. I want to include those here, because I think they’re incredibly valuable in understanding additional context to the work that we need to do in terms of diversity in the legal space. I would encourage all of us to keep showing up, for white folks to do the work ourselves and not ask our black colleagues and friends to expend any additional labor unless they volunteer to do so, to actively make space, listen, engage and NOT make the same excuses that we have made in the past. This is going to be a marathon, not a sprint, but just like a running marathon, I do believe that the work is going to be worth the effort.

Resources

Call to GCs: What Are You Prepared to Do to Prevent the Endemic Asphyxiation of Black Legal Careers? by Donald Prophete, a partner at Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete

NDLS Dean G. Marcus Cole: “I am George Floyd. Except, I can breathe. And I can do something.” by G. Marcus Cole, the Joseph A. Matson Dean and Professor of Law

Why I Resist Casual Friday and Other Thoughts on Diversity and Inclusion: A Black Partner’s Perspective by Orlando R. Richmond Sr., a partner at Butler Snow

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Photo of Lindsay Griffiths Lindsay Griffiths

Lindsay Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Executive Director. In this capacity, Ms. Griffiths is responsible for the oversight and management of day-to-day operations of the International Lawyers Network (ILN). She develops strategies and implementation plans to achieve the ILN’s goals, and handles…

Lindsay Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Executive Director. In this capacity, Ms. Griffiths is responsible for the oversight and management of day-to-day operations of the International Lawyers Network (ILN). She develops strategies and implementation plans to achieve the ILN’s goals, and handles recruitment, member retention, and a high level of service to members. She is engaged in the legal industry to stay on top of trends, both in law firms and law firm networks.

In her role as Executive Director, she develops and facilitates relationships among ILN member firm lawyers at 90+ law firms in 67 countries, and seeks opportunities for member firms to build business and relationships, while ensuring member participation in Network events and initiatives. These initiatives include facilitating referrals, the management and execution of the marketing and business development strategy for the Network, which encompasses all communications, push-down efforts, and marketing partnerships, providing support and guidance to the chairs and group leaders for the ILN’s thirteen practice and industry specialty groups, the ILN’s women’s initiative, the ILN’s mentorship program, the management and execution of all ILN conferences, and more.

JD Supra Readers Choice Top Author 2019

During her previous tenure as Director of Global Relationship Management, the ILN has been shortlisted as a Global Law Firm Network of the Year by The Lawyer for 2016 and 2017, and included as a Chambers & Partners Leading Law Firm Network since 2011. She was awarded “Thought Leader of the Year” by the Legal Marketing Association’s New York chapter in 2014 for her substantive contributions to the industry, and was recently included in Clio’s list for “34 People in Legal You Should Follow on Twitter.” She was also chosen for the American Bar Association Journal’s inaugural Web 100‘s Best Law Blogs, where judge Ivy Grey said “This blog is outstanding, thoughtful and useful.” Ms. Griffiths was recently chosen for as a Top Author by JD Supra in their 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards, for the level of engagement and visibility she attained with readers on the topic of marketing & business development. She has been the author of Zen & the Art of Legal Networking since February of 2009.