For too long a wall of uniformity has defined the legal profession.
A wall that limits entry and advancement based on race, ethnicity, color, culture, gender, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, geography and age. A wall that has stood in the way of real change. A wall that has left the legal profession an anachronism in an increasingly diverse society.
Past efforts to increase diversity in the legal profession have been sincere but not inclusive enough...not ambitious enough...not robust enough. That’s about to change.
The Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession will drive real progress through comprehensive outreach and original programming to replace barriers with bridges between legal, judicial, professional, educational and governmental institutions. We will provide high schools, colleges, and law schools with programs to help students excel in an ever-more competitive world, and give young people real hope that there’s a path to success in the law. We will give law firms, bar associations, corporations and government agencies insights for business development and tools to eliminate bias. We will help people spot and get rid of the obstacles to inclusion - from policies...to fear of open discussion...to entrenched attitudes.
Our work begins now, with a simple goal: Fewer walls, more doors.
Real Change. Now.
Our Core Philosophy
The legal profession must be diverse and inclusive. Why? It goes to our core philosophy:
Why We're Different and What We Do
- Diversity and inclusion is first and foremost a matter of social justice. "Social justice" means intrinsic fairness and equality, which, to achieve, often requires a remedial element to overcome a lack of diversity. The demographics of our society are changing. Our system of justice, which represents one of society’s most fundamental values, requires a legal profession that is contemporary in composition and has an outlook that is in sync with the society it serves.
- It is intolerable for the legal profession to lag behind other professions in diversity and inclusion. Other professions, which require just as much schooling but less direct focus on such values as justice, leadership, and democracy, have achieved diversity and inclusion. We are a profession of leaders and problem-solvers who are on the front lines, protecting, preserving and promulgating equality and fairness. That we are unable to correct a serious deficiency in our own profession is unacceptable.
- Market intervention is necessary for real change. In theory, the legal profession should have become more diverse and inclusive as a matter of course. But theory has not translated into reality. History has already shown that without impetus, a more diverse and inclusive legal profession is not inevitable. Market intervention and other concrete steps are therefore necessary.