IILP Update

13 Mar 2014 3:04 PM | Sandra Yamate (Administrator)

In this Update:

What’s New

What’s Been Happening

What’s Coming Up



While the calendar may say “spring,” Mother Nature clearly isn’t paying attention. So, at the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession (“IILP”) we’re staying warm by keeping busy.  And if you’d like to keep warm, too, we hope that you’ll join us in some of our programs and events!


IILP Advisory Board

IILP is delighted to announce that Adisa P. Bakari from Kelley Drye & Warren LLP has joined IILP’s Advisory Board.

2013-14 IILP Review: The State of Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession

We’ve received some brilliant article submissions for the next IILP Review and the fall symposia that will be based upon them look to be addressing some novel and intriguing discussions about diversity and inclusion issues and challenges in the legal profession. We’re considering in which cities to present our 2014 fall symposia so if you’d like to weigh in with your opinion, please visit our Facebook page and give us your thoughts!

IILP’s Up To the Minute News!

Keep up with IILP’s up to the minute news and activities! “Like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @TheIILP for the latest information about IILP!



A View from the Trenches

IILP was pleased to participate in the ABA TIPS Diversity Series: A View from the Trenches during the ABA Midyear Meeting in Chicago in February. IILP Board Member Hon. E. Kenneth Wright and CEO Sandra Yamate joined a panel with Gary Gassman from Meckler Bulger Tilson Marick & Pearson LLP and Denise Avant from the Office of the Cook County Public Defender and moderated by Darcee Siegel for a robust discussion about diversity challenges in the Windy City.

UPenn APALSA Conference

The UPenn APALSA Conference was without doubt the best organized conference we’ve ever seen! Kudos to the student organizers and volunteers, especially Karen Wong, Anna Han, and Chris Lee! They set a standard few conference organizers ever meet! IILP enjoyed participating in the conference, moderating the opening panel, “A Seat at the Table: APA Inclusion in the Legal Profession and Beyond,” which featured a stellar line up: Nermeen Aratsu from CUNY School of Law and a leader in the growing Muslim legal community; Bruce Yamashita who challenged the US Marine Corps for internal discrimination against minorities; and Phil Yu, the Founder and Editor of Angry Asian Man. It was a lively and fun discussion and served as a reminder about how enjoyable it can be to engage in a discussion with law students.

InterLaw Diversity Forum for LGBT Networks

IILP was happy to participate in the New York launch of the InterLaw Diversity Forum’s Apollo Project. The InterLaw Diversity Forum is based in the UK. Its Apollo Project features a toolkit that aims to help firms implement practical, real-life examples and solutions from across the legal sector and beyond that have already proven successful. The toolkit will consist of a portfolio of successful projects and case studies which have resulted in measurable cultural or organization change.  


Louisiana State Bar Association’s 7th Annual Conclave on Diversity in the Legal Profession

IILP is delighted to be participating in the Louisiana State Bar Association’s Conclave on Diversity on March 21 in New Orleans. IILP Board Member Sharon E. Jones will be speaking on “Leadership with Intention: Institutionalizing Diversity & Inclusion in Your Organization” and IILP Advisory Board Member David Douglass will be speaking on “Navigating Cognitive Biases, Blind Spots, and Cultural Impairments When Balancing Ethical Decision-Making.”

One More Symposium on the State of Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession

IILP friends and supporters in San Diego urged us to make a visit to their fair city and present one more symposium on the state of diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. And when our friends from the California Minority Counsel Program (“CMCP”) added their voices to the chorus, how could we decline? (And did we mention winter’s persistence?) If you are in or around San Diego on March 27th, please join us for a symposium on the state of diversity and inclusion in the legal profession at Mintz Levin beginning at 3:30 PM. There is no charge to attend this event but space is limited so you must register at www.TheIILP.com (click on Calendar/Events).

Harvard Law School Negotiation and Mediation Clinic

IILP has been enjoying a partnership with Harvard Law School’s Negotiation and Mediation Clinic which is lead by Professor Robert Bordone. Working with the Clinic, we have been studying how law firms communicate internally about sensitive topics such as perceptions of bias. As a result, IILP will be joining Professor Bordone and some of the Clinic’s other clients at the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution’s Legal Educators Colloquium in Miami on April 5th to discuss how this has worked and what we’ve learned so far.

Under Colour of Law: Race and Ethnicity Within the Legal Profession

IILP is excited to be working with the Equality & Diversity Committee of The General Council of the Bar of England and Wales, the Black Solicitors Network, the InterLaw Diversity Forum, and the Society of Asian Lawyers to present “Under Colour of Law: Race and Ethnicity Within the Legal Profession,” which will explore how explicit and implicit biases about people with darker colour skin impact opportunities for Black Minority Ethnic attorneys in the UK and US. Kevin D. Brown, the Richard S. Melvin Professor of Law at Maurer School of Law at Indiana University has spent over 25 years studying British, American, South African, and Indian attitudes toward individuals with darker skin colour. During the Spring, 2014 semester, he has been teaching a course to American law students in London that compares and contrasts the experiences of blacks in the US, with that of blacks in the UK, blacks in South Africa, and Dalits in India while researching how the experience of being Black in the UK compares to that in the US and what that might mean for law schools and the legal profession. On 17 April, Professor Brown will be presenting his findings, followed by a dialogue between Professor Brown and barrister Gelaga King about how the British and American legal professions are addressing these challenges. The programme will conclude with a panel discussion between British and American lawyers about what they are seeing and experiencing in the real world. During the discussion, a team of law students from SOAS Law School at the University of London will be tweeting their thoughts, comments and impressions about what is being discussed. Our thanks to Baker & McKenzie for hosting this programme. If you’d like to attend, please register at www.TheIILP.com and click on “Calendar/Events.”

We’ve already had some requests to present this programme in the US and are looking for hosts/sponsors. If that is something in which you’re interested, please let us know!


Later this spring, IILP will be presenting at or participating in programs in Kansas City, Toronto, New York, and Washington, D.C. We’ll keep you posted and hope that we’ll see you at one or more!




Sandra S. Yamate


321 S. Plymouth Court

Chicago, IL 60604

(312) 628-5885

Mobile: (312) 375-8271



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