Boston Lawyers Group Announces Retirement of Carolyn Golden Hebsgaard
The Boston Lawyers Group (BLG) today announced the retirement of Carolyn Golden Hebsgaard, who has led the organization as its Executive Director since 1993. BLG was founded more than 35 years ago to support the efforts of its member legal organizations – which today include 40 premier law firms, corporate law offices, and government agencies – to identify, recruit, advance, and retain attorneys of color.
“While this marks the end of my nearly 30-year journey, the organization is stronger than ever, and the work towards building a more diverse legal community will continue,” said Carolyn Golden Hebsgaard. “I am proud of not only the impact BLG has had on the careers of many individual attorneys, but also of the progress I have seen across our partners and the entire legal industry. This impact will only continue to grow, and I am excited to see what the future has in store.”
Hebsgaard’s many accomplishments during her BLG tenure include creating an annual job fair, summer internship program, and mentorship program for law students of color; establishing five 10-week clerkships for rising 1Ls with BLG member organizations to work in both the public and private sectors; developing a mock interview program; and implementing social skills training programs to advance networking and relationship-building skills with judges and other legal leaders. Thousands of law students have participated in BLG’s events and programs.
“When Carolyn stepped into the role of Executive Director in 1993, not one member firm had a diversity committee or a DEI professional on their teams. Thanks to her impressive leadership, BLG members now have a variety of DEI resources on-hand, including diversity committees, mentor programs, diversity and inclusion professionals, diversity training, and websites that speak to diversity-related missions and goals,” said Dan Halston, Partner-in-Charge of WilmerHale’s Boston office. “We are fortunate to have had Carolyn’s wisdom and guidance for so many years. BLG was the first-of-its-kind organization, and Carolyn’s work has helped create a path towards increasing diversity within the Boston legal community. She will be greatly missed,” added Kenneth Leonetti, former Co-Managing Partner of Foley Hoag.
Moving forward, BLG has established a 501(c)(6) organizational structure with a newly formed Board of Directors, including Ayeshah Johnson, Goulston & Storrs, and former BLG participants Louis Mercedes, Mintz, and Adrianne Ortega, Ropes & Gray, with others to be added over the next several months. In addition to continuing its current programming and success, BLG intends to expand its programming and reach to further establish itself as a resource for attracting diverse talent to Boston. The group will also enhance its positioning as a support system for attorneys navigating their careers and the city through new relationships with similar organizations within other fields, including other nonprofit organizations and an expanded outreach effort to corporate law offices and government agencies. The search for a new Executive Director is currently underway.
“Carolyn has played a pivotal role in advancing BLG’s mission of a more equitable and diverse legal community in Boston. She has raised the bar and made every organization involved better. The entire legal community is grateful to Carolyn for everything she has done to prepare BLG for its next exciting chapter,” said Louis Mercedes, Member at Mintz.
About Boston Lawyers Group
Founded in 1986, the Boston Lawyers Group (BLG) was established by 13 Boston law firms with the mission to support the efforts of its member organizations to identify, recruit, advance, and retain attorneys of color. Since then, BLG has seen its membership grow to more than 40 organizations, including law firms, corporate law offices, and government agencies. Each member gathers information through the consortium and takes steps independently to achieve the goal of greater diversity within in its own organization.