May 28, 2020

Timeline

2019

The Commission hosts the Collaborative Bar Leadership Academy with the HNBA, NBA, NAPABA, National LGBT Bar Association, and the NNABA in Denver in June.

The Model Diversity Survey obtained 105 corporate signatories and negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding with the Interlaw Diversity Forum in the United Kingdom, which was approved by the ABA Board of Governors at the 2019 Annual Meeting.  The Commission also entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Microsoft for the provision of a dynamic platform (scheduled to launch in January 2020) to analyze and aggregate the data provided by the corporate signatories and the law firms they use.

Presented CLE program “Suppressing Public Protests in America: Do Free Speech and Free Assembly Matter Anymore?” at the 2019 Annual Meeting.

The Innovator published two issues for its fourth year of publication.

2018

Commission Chairperson (2018 – present) Helen B. Kim

The Commission hosts the Collaborative Bar Leadership Academy with the HNBA, NBA, NAPABA, National LGBT Bar Association, and the NNABA in Miami in June.

The Presidential Showcase program: ““Trump and Diverse Communities – A Kaleidoscope of Controversy”, was the best-attended Showcase event of the 2018 Annual Meeting.

The Innovator published two issues for its third year of publication.

2017

At the 2017 ABA Annual meeting, the Commission hosted a panel entitled “Enhancing Justice and Reducing Implicit Bias in the Legal Profession:  Strategies that Work.”

2016

Commission launches a quarterly newsletter, The Innovator

Commission hosts its Minority Counsel Program in Puerto Rico on May 9, 2016, in conjunction with the ABA Sections of State & Local Government Law/Public Contract Law

2015

Commission Chairperson (2015- 2018) Will A. Gunn

At the 2015 ABA Annual meeting, the Commission hosted a panel entitled “A Turn to Justice:  50 Years – The Voting Rights Act of 1965.  Rep. Maxine Waters (D – CA) made opening remarks on the history of voting rights.

2014

Commission Chairperson, (2014-2015) F. John Garza

The Minority Counsel Program is renamed the National Forum on Diversity and Inclusion in the Profession of Law.

2011

Commission Chairperson (2011-2014) Reginald W. Turner, Jr.

2010

During the 2010 ABA Annual meeting the Commission convened a roundtable discussion of high-ranking racially and ethnically diverse military attorneys.  From this meeting the Commission developed an initiative focusing on diversity in the military JAG corps.

2009

Commission on Women in the Profession, in collaboration with the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession, publishes the sequel Dear Sisters, Dear Daughters: Strategies for Success from Multicultural Women Attorneys.

2008

Commission Chairperson (2008-2011) Fred W. Alvarez

2006

The Commission's History Project was created to capture, archive and makes available the history of the Commission as well as the histories of individuals who have been notable pioneers in the ethnic and racial integration of the legal profession.  The primary purpose of collecting and disseminating these histories is to insure the stories of legal trailblazers, inspire racially and ethnically diverse students to join the profession, and educate the public.

2005

Commission Chairperson (2005-2008) Kay Hodge (First Asian American to Chair the Commission)

2004

Commission publishes an update to the groundbreaking report Miles to Go 2004: Progress of Minorities in the Legal Profession.

2002

Commission Chairperson (2002-2005) Lawrence Baca (First Native American to Chair the Commission)

2001

The Commission on Opportunities for Minorities in the Profession changes its name to the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession.

Commission produces the multimedia toolkit, Raising the Bar: Diversity and Retention in the Legal Profession.

2000

Commission, in collaboration with the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, published Dear Sisters, Dear Daughters: Words of Wisdom from Multicultural Women Attorney's Who've Been There and Done That.

Commission publishes The Simplest Reason to encourage lawyers of color to become members of the American Bar Association.

Commission publishes an update to the groundbreaking report Miles to Go 2000: Progress of Minorities in the Legal Profession.

1999

Commission Chairperson (1999-2002) Charisse Lillie

1998

Commission publishes the groundbreaking report Miles to Go 1998: Progress of Minorities in the Legal Profession.

The Minority Counsel Demonstration Project changes its name to the Minority Counsel Program.

1997

Commission Chairperson (1997-1999) Jose Gaitan (First Hispanic to Chair the Commission)

1996

ABA Board of Governors approves Three Minority Members At-Large Seats to the Nominating Committee.  Per §9.2 of the Constitution of the American Bar Association the Commission has been entrusted with the duty of providing the ABA President-elect with nominees from which to select an appointee to the Board of Governors Nominating Committee as the Minority Member-at-Large.

Commission begins producing the Goal III Report (formerly known as the Goal IX Report).  Through its Goal III Report, the Commission plays an integral role in monitoring and assessing the level of diversity within the association's membership and leadership.  The information contained in the 2010 report offers an assessment of the status of racially and ethnically diverse lawyers, specifically in positions of leadership, within the association and its entities.

1995

Commission Chairperson (1995-1997) Hon. Bernice B. Donald (First African-American Woman to Chair the Commission)

The Spirit of Excellence Award was created to celebrate the efforts and accomplishments of lawyers who work to promote a more racially and ethnically diverse legal profession.

1991

Commission Chairperson (1991-1995) ABA Past President Robert J. Grey, Jr.

Commission unveils the model Minority Clerkship Program Guidelines and publishes the first Directory of Minority Partners in Corporate Law Firms and the first issue of the Goal IX Newsletter.  1994    Formation of the Minority In-house Counsel Group (precursor to the Committee on Minority In-house Counsel).

1990

Commission creates the Conference of Minority Partners (precursor to the Committee on Minority Partners in Law Firms) Chairperson, C. Beth DunCombe.

1989

Multi-Cultural Women Attorney's Network (MWAN) was created as a Joint Initiative of the Commission and the Commission on Women in the Profession.  This effort was spearheaded by the Commission's Chair Dennis W. Archer and the Chair of the Commission on Woman, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The Commission publishes A Resource Guide to Developing Successful Minority Programs.

1988

The Commission sponsored the development of a program designed to encourage corporations to retain lawyers of color for legal services.  Originally called the Minority Counsel Demonstration Program (precursor to the Minority Counsel Program) it achieved and maintained a high level of success for a number of years.  That same year Harry Pearce, GC of GM and a member of the program's leadership team, sends the famous letter regarding the retention of minority lawyers as outside counsel.  During its inaugural year program held its first meeting in Dallas, Texas, which include participation from 6 corporations, 20 minority law firms and 7 majority law firms.  Chairperson, LeRoy C. Richie.

The largest National Conference of Minority Lawyers with nearly 600 participants was held in May 1988, Dallas, Texas.  The conference was titled, Sharing the Opportunity: Sharing the Rewards.

1987

During its first full bar year the Commission embarked on a series of major initiatives, which were:

  • 1st National Conference of Commission on Minorities - San Francisco, California "Current Developments in Promoting Equal Opportunities for Minorities";
  • Drafts a proposal for Creation of the Commission on Women in the Profession (Recommendation from Task Force Report);
  • Publication of "How-to-Manual" - Programs to Involve Minority Lawyers/Law Students in the Profession;
  • Special Diversity Training Workshops for Section Leaders; and
  • Special Seminars for Minority Bar Leaders in Chicago.
1986

Commission Chairperson (1986-1991) ABA Past President Dennis W. Archer

Thirty- six years after the first black lawyers were admitted to the Association, the Commission on Opportunities for Minorities in the Profession was created to urge positive actions and suggest specific programs designed to integrate minority lawyers into the profession and judiciary.  The first meeting of the Commission was held December 12-14, 1986. The Commission was responsible for coordinating a broad range of activities related to minority problems that begin with legal education opportunities, extended through the hiring and promotion process, and involve all of the numerous segments of the profession.  In addition, the Commission was responsible for addressing minority judicial opportunities and a whole array of bar association minority concerns on both a national and local scope.

1984

Commission Chairperson (1984-1986) Calvin Udall

Creation of the ABA Task Force on Minorities in the Legal profession (Precursor to the Commission on Opportunities for Minorities in the Profession).