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 user 2010-01-04 at 11:05:22 am Views: 52
  • #23284


    Xerox’s Ivy McKinney works long
    and hard on mentoring, diversity effort
    A Corporate Lawyer With A
    Can-Do Attitude
    Ivy Thomas McKinney is at the point of her life
    where her children are grown up and have moved out of the house. Her
    daughter is a junior at Princeton and her son is in a doctorate program
    at Yale.“All of my free time went to family when I was young,” said
    McKinney, a 1980 Yale Law School graduate who is vice president and
    deputy general counsel at Xerox Corp. Now that her children are on their
    own, she’s embarked on an impressive array of public service, mentoring
    and pro bono work. She says it’s her way of giving back. “Along the
    way, I’ve had a lot of people who supported and helped me,” she

    McKinney, 53, is in charge of all company litigation
    at Xerox whose legal department totals nearly 200 people in the U.S. and
    around the world. She provides counseling on issues regarding
    employment benefits and human resources.

    Ivy also mentors
    minority law students and young professionals through the Minority
    Corporate Counsel Association’s KAN-Do! Mentoring Program, the Women’s
    Alliance, and the Black Women’s Leadership Conference.

    She says
    she mentors a “few people” at Xerox. Her boss says that she’s being way
    too modest. While her formal mentoring at Xerox may consist of only a
    few people, “other people consult with her on all kinds of matters, from
    professional to personal,” said Don Liu, the senior vice president and
    general counsel at Xerox. “There are a large number of people who count
    on her. Many people say, ‘Maybe I’ll go talk to Ivy.’”

    Liu notes
    that corporate lawyers haven’t traditionally been known for doing a lot
    of pro bono work. He said that unlike private law firms, where attorneys
    get credit toward their billable hour requirement for doing pro bono
    work, corporate legal departments don’t reward off-the-clock efforts.
    But that is changing somewhat. McKinney is active in The Pro Bono
    Partnership, an organization made up of corporate lawyers who provide
    legal advice to non-profit organizations in Connecticut, New Jersey and
    New York, particularly organizations that help provide programs for the
    poor and disadvantaged. McKinney said she has done fundraising for the
    group as well as provide pro bono legal help.

    Race Relations
    other area where McKinney shines is when it comes to promoting
    diversity. She is a member of a committee at Xerox that makes sure the
    law firms with which Xerox does business have a diverse staff.Outside of
    the workplace, McKinney is also the co-chair of the Connecticut chapter
    of Princeton Prize in Race Relations, an awards program that honors
    high school students who do outstanding work to advance the cause of
    race relations.

    Every year, the program invites all public and
    parochial students to submit a project. There is a $1,000 reward for the
    best one. “Some of these kids do phenomenal projects,” McKinney said.
    “It almost brings tears to my eyes.”

    One student from Norwalk,
    she recalled, put together something on how immigrant parents can be
    advocates for their children in the school system. Some of the students
    did voter registration projects. Others did projects on the genocide in
    Darfur, she said.“It’s amazing what they are doing at such young ages,”
    McKinney said.

    She is also on the board of directors of WESFACCA
    (the Westchester, New York/Southern Connecticut Chapter of the
    Association of Corporate Counsel), has been on the board of the Urban
    League of Southwestern Connecticut and is also on the development
    committee for Just the Beginning Foundation. Her role with the
    foundation is to develop and nurture interest in the law among young
    people from racial and other groups under-represented in the legal
    profession.The list goes on. McKinney is a member of the Fairfield
    County Chapter of the Links Inc., a women’s organization which
    undertakes community projects. Additionally, she’s helped organize
    health fairs and film festivals that feature works produced by African
    Americans.How does she get this all done and still earn praise from her
    boss for as being “a trooper” at Xerox? “I end up working late,” she