Next Steps Diversity Challenge - Winners

2013 – 2014

Affiliate Category

1st Place - $1,500 Recipient

State Bar of New Mexico, Young Lawyers Division
Title: Project Salute: Young Lawyers Serving Veterans in Indian Country

Brief Description: This program entails coordination of a legal service clinic for military veterans who are enrolled New Mexico tribe and pueblo members to foster a common understanding of diversity between the YLD and tribes and pueblos in New Mexico. Coordinate a legal clinic for military veterans who are enrolled members of tribes and pueblos, and to include Native American lawyers in the clinic. Develop a stronger connection between the State Bar of New Mexico YLD and affinity bar groups whose members live and/or work in tribal areas or pueblos, and to collaborate with those bar associations for the purpose of planning and coordinating a legal clinic. Co-host a continuing legal education event for mainstream bar association members and affinity bar association members who live and/or work in tribal areas or pueblos aimed at eliminating bias among and between members of those associations

2nd Place - $1,000 Recipient
South Carolina Bar Association Young Lawyers Division
Title: Color of Justice Roadshow

Brief Description: In this program, members visit historically black colleges and universities in South Carolina and speak to the students about the importance of three components- Preparation, Performance, and Practice. The preparation component will focus on what students should do to prepare for law school and the LSAT. The performance component will address what they should expect and how to succeed in law school. The practice component will give the students insights on what it means to practice law.

3rd Place - $500 Recipient
Alabama State Bar Young Lawyers Division
Title: Minority Pre-Law Conference “MPLC”

Brief Description: The program introduces 11th and 12th grade minority students to the practice of law and seeks to incorporate networking, teaching and interaction with the ultimate goal of engaging more minority students in the practice of law.

Law School Category

1st Place - $1,500 Recipient
Elon Law Community Council - Elon University School of LawTitle: “Diversity Week: Celebrating Elon Law’s Community”

Brief Description:  Read about the program on Elon’s website

Diversity Week at Elon Law, held in March 2014, was comprised of educational events for law school community members to learn about issues faced by persons of different races, genders, religions, classes, sexual orientations and abilities. Programming included a Moot Court Board presentation about the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Brown vs. Board of Education, a “Hot Topics” debate about school vouchers, featuring Elon Law professors Scott Gaylord and Andy Haile, and a “Bite of Culture” potluck lunch in which members of the law school community shared meals reflective of their home cultures.

2nd Place - $1,000 Recipient
American University Washington College of Law
Title: "Spring International Carnivale"

Brief Description: This program was divided into two main components:

1.     Booths serving foods representing different countries or adding cultural twists to typical state fair food. They can also set up a booth which attendees can play common state fair games incorporating diversity either through the prizes, cultural trivia or information materials on issues of diversity.

2.     Groups have the opportunity to perform a ceremony, demonstration, exhibition or custom that relates to diversity. During pauses between performances a video will play that shines light on the issues relating to diversity and minorities and have speakers deliver announcements and speeches.

2012-2013

$2000 Recipient 
Minnesota State Bar Association New Lawyers Section
Title: GOLaw
Brief Description: To educate and inspire young individuals from diverse backgrounds to become interested in the practice of law as a noble profession. Our goal is to visit 2-3 high schools in both St. Cloud and the Twin Cities (targeting schools that have a higher percentage of
minority students) and have a candid, thought-provoking conversation with those students about the practice of law. As a fun take-away present, we plan to give each of the students a copy of the United States Constitution. We also know from personal experience that the more you put into something, the more you get out of it. To that end, we would like to give the students at each school we visit an assignment- break into groups of 5-6 students, research one small area of the law or a current event/ lawsuit, and put together a 10 minute presentation on that topic. Each group will present their topic at a networking event with attorneys from the Twin Cities in March 2013. Based on certain criteria, the winning group will get a prize (we plan to secure a donation through a law firm sponsor). Our goal with this presentation is for the students to learn, have fun, and be able to have this experience enhance their college application. Lastly, we hope that this program naturally creates friendships and mentor/mentee relationships between the students and attorneys.

$1000 Recipient 
State Bar of New Mexico, Young Lawyers Division
Title:
Project Salute: Young Lawyers Serving Veterans in Indian Country
Brief Description: Coordinate a legal service clinic for military veterans who are enrolled members of tribes and pueblos in New Mexico. To foster a common understanding of diversity between the YLD and tribes and pueblos in New Mexico. To coordinate a legal clinic for military
veterans who are enrolled members of tribes and pueblos, and to include Native American lawyers in the clinic. To develop a stronger connection between the State Bar of New Mexico YLD and affinity bar groups whose members live and/or work in tribal areas or pueblos, and to collaborate with those bar associations for the purpose of planning and coordinating a legal clinic. To co-host a continuing legal education event for mainstream bar association members and affinity bar association members who live and/or work in tribal areas or pueblos aimed at eliminating bias among and between members of those associations.
 
Finalists 
 
Kentucky Bar Association Young Lawyers Division
Title:
Kentucky Excellence: Opening the Pipeline to the Profession
Brief Description: The goal and desired outcome of “Kentucky Excellence” is to have Kentucky's Bar Membership begin to mirror the changing and increasing racial, ethnic, religious, and gender/sexual identity diversity, and disability status of Kentucky's general population and the U.S. general population. Students from underrepresented populations, particularly from very rural parts of Kentucky, are less likely to have been exposed to a large number of Attorneys or to know the law is a viable profession from them.

South Carolina Young Lawyers Division
Title:
The Color of Justice
Brief Description: The program directly relates to the Pipeline Practices: Outreach and Mentoring recommendation. The purpose of the program is to introduce and encourage minority middle school and high school students to pursue a legal career, while also and educating them of the reality of the process. The program also shows them that there are individuals in these roles that “look like them”. Our target presentation locations are those in which student may desire to pursue a legal career, but they live in an area that would not normally have the needed
resources. The desired outcome of the program is for the students to see that their dreams are attainable despite where they come from, the color of their skin, the economic status, or their gender.

2011-2012

$2000 Recipient 
North Carolina Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division
Title:
Legal LINK
Brief Description: The purpose of Legal LINK is to promote increased diversity within the legal profession in North Carolina. The Legal LINK’s pilot program will introduce diverse ninth grade students to the field of law and hopefully persuade them to consider the law as a profession. The program will help these ninth grade students to think progressively about college and their future careers. It is the hope of the NCBA YLD that by reaching diverse students in the ninth grade we will be able to encourage them along an educational path that ultimately leads to careers in the legal profession.
 
$1000 Recipient 
Arkansas Bar Association Young Lawyers Section
Title:
ABA YLS College Road Tour
Brief Description: Seven members of the ABA YLS (employed by both large and small firms and government agencies) participated in a panel discussion entitled “What I wish I knew before law school.” The panel focused on how to gain admission and succeed in law school. After opening remarks by individual ABA YLS members, the panel shifted to a question and answer session that was moderated by a young lawyer. Most audience questions concerned what undergraduate majors and classes would best prepare them for law school. At the conclusion of our discussion, Associate Dean of Admissions Valerie James from the UALR Bowen School of Law addressed the group. The event, including a lunch hosted by ABA YLS, lasted approximately two hours.
 
Finalists  

Kentucky Bar Association Young Lawyers Section
Title:
Diverse Lawyers Across Kentucky
Brief Description: We plan to create a two-fold program of brain storming sessions on diversity initiatives with key people in various parts of Kentucky, followed by "Why Choose Law: Diversity Matters" presentations in eastern and western parts of the state. With some flexibility for people’s schedules, we plan to host the brainstorming sessions in the end of January or early February with the “Why Choose Law” presentations taking place in late February and early March 2012. The speakers will be determined based on feedback from key community members at the
brainstorming sessions. Key community members, particularly in the education and legal communities, are the target for the brainstorming sessions. We hope to address the “Why Choose Law” presentations to high school juniors and seniors.

Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyers Division
Title:
Diversity Leadership Institute (DLI)
Brief Description: The DLI is a six-month leadership and mentoring program for Tennessee law school students in their second and third years of study. During the program, participants are required to complete one community service activity and attend two continuing legal education seminars, at least one of which should focus on a topic related to diversity. Participants are assigned a mentor to help them meet these requirements and to assist then in their professional careers by networking with practicing lawyers in their local areas. As members of the DLI, students are invited and encouraged to attend public service projects, educational seminars and membership events planned by the TBA YLD. Participants also are encouraged to get involved in activities sponsored by their local bar associations as a way to meet their requirements. The students are also required to attend the DLI Opening Retreat which is held in conjunction
with the midyear TBA Leadership Conference in Nashville, TN in early January. The TBA Leadership Conference is held annually for TBA leadership. The DLI students are able to benefit from this annual programming deigned for leaders in the profession and meet with local bar leadership. In addition, the DLI Opening Retreat provides special programming and speakers for the students relating to diversity in the profession. The DLI concludes with a graduation ceremony for the students at the Annual TBA meeting, generally held in late May to early June. Since students are from various law schools throughout the state, the TBA YLD provides the student with hotel accommodations, meals and mileage reimbursement for all required programs held out of their local areas.

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