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Black Cyber Lawyers See Racial Diversity as Key to Data Safety

Bloomberg Law

Bloomberg Law reports that an increase in global cyberattacks spotlights a workforce shortage in the cybersecurity space, and highlights new initiatives that aim to train, mentor diverse talent.  One such initiative is Sheppard Mullin's Privacy and Cybersecurity Fellowship program for a small group of experienced lawyers eager to dive into the field.

Bloomberg Law spoke with Sheppard Mullin Privacy and Cybersecurity practice group leader and co-leader of the Fellowship program Liisa Thomas: "The fellowship will last 18 months with the lawyers most likely going in-house to meet the increased demand from businesses."

Thomas had the idea for the program for over a decade as she rose to partner and saw younger lawyers seek her mentorship.  “People began to come to me and say, ‘Can you help me? You’re biracial, you’re a Black woman. Help me out with my career,’” she said. “There are very few Black women partners. I moved up in the ranks; it’s something I’ve always been thinking about.” 

Further, Thomas says, "It’s one thing to have a diverse team. Your diverse team needs to feel comfortable and able to provide their perspective. If you as a firm haven’t created that culture and that environment, then you’ve lost a lot of that benefit.”


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