Cleary Gottlieb Hosts 2017 Citywide Diversity Reception

August 2, 2017

Cleary Gottlieb hosted its annual Citywide Diversity Reception on July 26, 2017, featuring keynote speaker Michele Coleman Mayes, Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary for the New York Public Library (NYPL).

The reception celebrated the firm’s partnership with the Sponsors for Educational Opportunity Law Fellowship Program – which provides students of color with legal internships and training prior to their first year of law school – and highlighted the challenges and advances in increasing diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. Over 450 guests, including law school students, alumni and members of minority bar organizations attended.

In her keynote address, Ms. Mayes shared the importance of being “optimistically gritty” to achieve professional success. She defined grit as “behavioral persistence in the face of adversity” and “sustained, passionate pursuit of goals.” Ms. Mayes concluded her remarks with a call to action for everyone: “learn to be gritty.”

Ms. Mayes is co-author of Courageous Counsel: Conversations with Women General Counsel in the Fortune 500, which recounts the risks, opportunities and lessons learned that characterize the career paths of remarkable women general counsel in the Fortune 500.