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At Pepper, there is no more vocal advocate of diversity and inclusion than partner Kassem L. Lucas. That advocacy was recently recognized at the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Annual Fellows Alumni Leadership Symposium, where Mr. Lucas was honored with the Rick Palmore LCLD Fellow Alumni Award.
The annual Palmore Award recognizes alumni of LCLD’s Fellows Program, which identifies high-potential attorneys from diverse backgrounds and sets them on the path to leadership of their organizations. Winners of the award show outstanding achievements, commitment and leadership in the advancement of their LCLD Fellows and Fellows Alumni. Mr. Lucas is Pepper’s first LCLD Fellow, selected in the class of 2011.
In addition to Mr. Lucas, the 2018 award was presented to Merisa Heu-Weller, counsel at Microsoft. Mr. Lucas and Ms. Heu-Weller join only five other LCLD Fellow Alumni who have received the award out of a national community of 1,600 Fellows since the creation of the award four years ago.
The Palmore Award is named for Rick Palmore, founding chair emeritus of LCLD, who attended the June 22 award presentation in Los Angeles.
Mr. Palmore said of Mr. Lucas and Ms. Heu-Weller, “You are both shining examples of servant leadership. I cannot be more proud of you.”
Jack Chen — assistant general counsel, employment policy and strategy, at Microsoft and a 2011 LCLD Fellow — added, “You are people who over time have advanced the mission, intent and purposes of LCLD for current and future participants, always putting other people into the path of success.”
LCLD profiled Mr. Lucas and Ms. Heu-Weller on its website, where it shared their history with the organization and excerpts from the nominating statements that led to their award wins.
In accepting his award, Mr. Lucas said, “The work of Rick Palmore and this organization will change the legal field and bring us into the future. That’s why I’ve dedicated time and effort to LCLD, and it’s why we all need to continue to go ‘all in.’ We are going to change the profession.”