(CHICAGO and CHARLOTTE) Katten announced today that associates Mario D. Robertson and Gabriela Sampaio have been selected as 2023 Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Pathfinders. The multifaceted Pathfinder program provides participants with the opportunity to learn from top leaders in the legal profession as well as career development experts.

"Both Mario and Gabriela have promising careers ahead. They possess the characteristics and strengths we value in young leaders and share a commitment to Katten's core values of diversity, equity and inclusion," said Chief Diversity Partner Leslie Minier. "We are delighted to have them involved in the Pathfinder program."

Over the course of seven months, the Pathfinder program is designed to train high-performing attorneys who are early in their careers on foundational leadership and relationship-building skills. Participants will be provided with practical tools for developing and leveraging internal professional networks, leadership skills and an understanding of career development strategies.

Robertson is a Litigation associate in Chicago who assists businesses and corporate executives with general litigation matters such as financial services, contracts and fraud. He is co-chair of Katten's Black Attorneys Affinity Group, which advocates for the recruitment, retention and development of the firm's Black attorneys. He is also involved in the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights' NextGen Leadership Council for Civil Rights.

Sampaio, an associate in Charlotte's Real Estate practice, assists clients in acquisitions, construction, development, dispositions, leasing and financing of properties across a variety of industries in the United States. She also serves as co-chair of Katten's Committee for Racial and Ethnic Diversity (CRED), which provides mentoring, educational and career development support and resources for associates of color.

Selected by leaders at LCLD Member corporations and law firms, Pathfinders have been identified as diverse, early-career emerging leaders who have distinguished themselves within their organizations.

"Much thought and research is behind the design of the Pathfinder program, which will serve to advance high-potential diverse attorneys to the next level of their careers," said LCLD President Robert J. Grey Jr.

LCLD is an organization of more than 400 corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners — the leadership of the profession — who have pledged themselves, through its Leaders at the Front initiative and other means, to creating a truly diverse US legal profession.