Loretta L. Freeman, an Atlanta partner at Merchant & Gould, a national intellectual property law firm, was selected by the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) to serve as City Lead for the 2020-2021 term, helping to advance diversity and inclusion in the legal industry. In her new role, she will plan and create programs for local LCLD alumni in Atlanta to drive more change and to continue the important dialog on diversity and inclusion that is so very important across the legal profession.
The LCLD is an organization of hundreds of corporate legal officers and law firm attorneys who have dedicated themselves to creating a truly diverse U.S. legal profession. Freeman’s City Lead position was announced in June at the largest Annual LCLD Alumni Leadership Symposium to date with 367 alumni participating. More than ever, the urgency and pace of this timely issue were emphasized at the symposium.
Freeman practices intellectual property law, including trademark clearance, registration, and enforcement, patent prosecution and preparation of opinions on patentability and validity. She is an alumna of the Pathfinder program, designed by the LCLD to train early-career attorneys in critical career development strategies including leadership and the building of professional networks. Freeman volunteers as a pro bono attorney for the Volunteer Lawyer's Network doing housing court for low-income clients in need of legal advice, and she also volunteers with LegalCORPS Inventor Assistance Program (IAP) assisting inventors in obtaining patents. Freeman was listed in The National Black Lawyers’ “Top 100 Lawyers” (2015-Present) and “Top 40 under 40” (2015-2019) and “Top 40 under 40” (2015, 2017 and 2018).
“Loretta’s new City Lead position is a major accomplishment for her and for our firm. We all value the LCLD’s impact on the legal industry, and we are grateful for Loretta’s leadership role and continued commitment,” said Christopher J. Leonard, Managing Director, CEO, and Chairman of the Board, Merchant & Gould. “Cultivating a diverse workforce is a key part of our firm’s core values. We know from experience that recruiting, retaining, developing and promoting attorneys and staff from a variety of backgrounds contributes to a firm’s success and perspective.”
In recent years, Merchant & Gould has made strides in making its organization more diverse and inclusive. Most notably, the firm achieved certification under the Mansfield Rule to boost diversity in its leadership; established scholarships to increase diversity in the legal profession; and adopted comprehensive policies setting the standards for interacting with each other. Merchant & Gould is also focused on diversity through hiring, retention, pro bono services, charitable efforts, community involvement and client development.