In this Update:
What’s Been Going On
What’s Coming Up
Greetings from the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession ("IILP")! You’ve likely received our earlier notices about some of our new efforts but knowing how busy everyone is, we thought you might appreciate a quick update on IILP’s other activities.
Justice John Paul Stevens Award
The Justice John Paul Stevens Award is the highest award that the Chicago legal community can bestow upon a lawyer. The award recognizes attorneys who have demonstrated extraordinary integrity and service to the community throughout their careers. IILP is delighted to share the news that our own Willie Miller, Jr., a member of our Board of Directors and the Chair of IILP’s Advisory Board, will be one of the recipients of the 2012 Justice John Paul Stevens Awards. The awards, given by the Chicago Bar Association and the Chicago Bar Foundation, will be presented during a luncheon on October 2, 2012. Justice Stevens will be delivering the keynote address. For more information or to reserve tickets, visit www.ChicagoBar.org.
Thurgood Marshall College Fund Awards of Excellence
The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (“TMCF”) is the only national organization founded for the sole purpose of providing scholarships to students attending the nation's public Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). In addition to scholarships, TMCF provides leadership development and training as well as programmatic and capacity building support to its 47 member-schools. IILP is proud and honoured that TMCF has selected our Chair, Marc Firestone, to be the recipient of one of its 2012 Awards of Excellence Awards of Excellence. The awards will be presented in Chicago on November 1, 2012 at Sidley Austin LLP. If you are able to attend, a copy of the invitation is attached.
IILP Social Media Committee
IILP wants to connect with you! Thanks to the hard work of our Social Media Committee, IILP is now on Facebook and LinkedIn. You’ll be getting an invitation to link to us and we hope that you’ll decide to “Like” us, too! Thanks to our Social Media Committee Co-Chairs, Floyd Holloway, Jr. and Tom White and committee members Adam Bottner, Ann Chen, Jeremy Daniel, Lalania Gilkey-Johnson, Akira Heshiki, Betty Jang, Barrington Lopez, Sucheta Misra, Marci Rubin, and Mona Thakkar for all their work in developing IILP’s Social Media Use Policy and getting us connected.
WHAT’S BEEN GOING ON
Model Rules Initiative
IILP believes that among the many reasons why the legal profession pursues greater diversity and inclusion, the most important is that it is the right thing to do. With that in mind, on September 14, 2012, IILP Chair Marc Firestone and American Bar Association (“ABA”) Illinois State Delegate Robert A. Clifford, sent a letter to leaders of the ABA suggesting that the ABA amend its Model Rules of Professional Conduct to include a section under which efforts to increase diversity and inclusion in the legal profession would become a matter of ethics and professional conduct. We believe that such an amendment would stimulate positive change for the legal profession. If you would like to read the letter, it is attached here.
Measure of Success
When the legal profession talks about achieving greater diversity and inclusion, what does that mean? Is there any clear consensus within the legal profession as to the ultimate diversity and inclusion goals and objectives that we are pursuing?
IILP, working with the Association of Legal Administrators, hopes to answer this, and other questions, with its research study “The Measure of Success.”” The Measure of Success” is an online study that seeks to determine what the legal profession’s short- and long-term diversity and inclusion goals and objectives are. It looks at how the legal profession measures or would recognize diversity and inclusion success. It inquires into the appropriate bases against which to measure diversity and inclusion efforts. It examines whether the profession values some types of diversity more than others. And it considers what different segments of the profession – law firms, corporate law departments, government agencies, and bar associations – could, should, and are doing to further those diversity and inclusion goals and objectives.
Lawyers, judges, law students, academics, legal administrators, diversity professionals, bar association staff – anyone who is part of the legal profession is invited to respond to the survey. All individual answers are completely anonymous and will remain confidential. Please participate in the study and encourage your friends and colleagues to do so as well.
Click here to take survey
It will remain open until March 15, 2013.
Harvard Law School Negotiation and Mediation Clinic
IILP and the Harvard Law School Negotiation and Mediation Clinic have launched the next phase of our joint research project studying how large law firms handle internal communication issues around sensitive topics such as perceptions of bias.
The State of Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession
If you are interested in issues of diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, you know that it isn't always easy to find the information you need quickly and reliably. What are the most current diversity and inclusion statistics? What are the cutting edge diversity research efforts by legal academics? What are the most promising strategies clients, employers and bar associations are implementing? What are the new programs and efforts about which you want to be aware?
The 2012 “IILP Review: The State of Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession,” your one-stop source for this and other information relevant to all types of diversity and inclusion in all facets and practice settings from all over the country is in production. This collection of the most current and cutting edge information about diversity and inclusion in the legal profession is a valuable tool for anyone working on diversity and inclusion issues and anyone interested in educating themselves or others about different facets of diversity and inclusion. Like last year, in conjunction with the release of the Review, we’ll also be presenting symposia around the country during which we’ll report on our findings and discuss current trends, new initiatives, and promising strategies. The symposia are planned for Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle and Washington, D.C. Dates and other details for the symposia will be announced shortly.
Our thanks to The Claro Group for their sponsorship of 2012 The State of Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession.
WHAT’S COMING UP
Industrial Strength Diversity and Inclusion
As mentioned in an earlier update, IILP is starting a new series of programs designed to look at diversity and inclusion efforts and strategies as they exist within industries. Among the industries that IILP will be examining are insurance, healthcare, defense contracting and aerospace, financial services, energy, food and beverages, and retail. As these programs get scheduled, we’ll announce them in future updates and post them on the IILP website at www.TheIILP.com.
The Business Case for Diversity: Reality or Wishful Thinking?
IILP’s report, “The Business Case for Diversity: Reality or Wishful Thinking?” continues to generate a great deal of interest. Therefore, IILP is partnering with some of its Partner Law Firms and bar associations to facilitate discussions about the findings and strategies that lawyers in different cities might find useful in making the business case for diversity more effective. We’ll announce dates and locations in future updates and on the IILP website.
Sandra S. Yamate
INSTITUTE FOR INCLUSION IN THE LEGAL PROFESSION
321 S. Plymouth Court
Chicago, IL 60604
Mobile: (312) 375-8271