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July 29, 2020 CWP News

CLE Showcase Program at the ABA Virtual Annual Meeting

The Paucity of Women of Color in the Legal Profession and Its Impact on the Administration of Justice—July 30

Studies over the last 15 to 20 years have revealed that—despite numerous programs implemented to improve diversity and inclusion in the legal profession—women of color have not reaped the benefits of the progress made. In an effort to change this, on June 22 the Commission on Women in the Profession released Left Out and Left Behind: The Hurdles, Hassles, and Heartaches of Achieving Long-Term Legal Careers for Women of Color.

On July 30 at 10:00 a.m. CT, the Commission will sponsor a CLE Showcase Program as part of the 2020 ABA Virtual Annual Meeting. It will focus on the results of this study and the impact that the paucity of women lawyers of color has on the administration of justice. Without all demographics adequately represented in the legal profession, we cannot be ensured of a fair process.

Participants will learn about the concrete recommendations presented in Left Out and Left Behind, including adopting best practices for reducing biases in decision making, going beyond recruitment to inclusion, and incorporating an intersectional approach to addressing diversity and gender.

Speakers for the program include:

Co-moderators: Paulette Brown, senior partner and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Locke Lord LLP, Princeton, NJ; and Eileen Letts, partner, Zuber Lawler & Del Duca LLP, Chicago, IL

Panelists: Mari Carmen Aponte, former U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador, Washington, DC; Dorothy Capers, senior vice president and global general counsel, National Express LLC, Chicago, IL; Cyndie M. Chang, managing partner, Duane Morris LLP, Los Angeles, CA; Dr. Destiny Peery, principal, The Red Bee Group LLC, Chicago, IL; and Mary L. Smith, vice chair, VENG Group, and chair and president, Caroline and Ora Smith Foundation, Lansing, IL

The program has a number of ABA entity co-sponsors including the Council for Diversity in the Educational Pipeline, Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities, Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Legal Profession, Coalition on Racial & Ethnic Justice, Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, Criminal Justice Section, and the Section of Litigation.

Members who register for the 2020 ABA Virtual Annual Meeting ( will receive access to all of the CLE Showcase Programs on a secure online platform.

The report, Left Out and Left Behind: The Hurdles, Hassles, and Heartaches of Achieving Long-Term Legal Careers for Women of Color, is available at

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