The program aims to promote diversity within the Division and the ABA, while providing leadership opportunities within the Division for historically underrepresented groups, including racial and ethnic minorities, women, LGBT individuals, and persons with disabilities.
Since 2002, the Division has utilized a written diversity plan to increase both the diversity of its membership and its leadership in relation to female lawyers, lawyers of different races and ethnicities, and lawyers with disabilities. This effort has included not only increasing diversity among the Division’s membership, but also inclusion of diverse lawyers in the Division’s leadership, entities, publications, programs and conferences. Although the Division’s efforts have led to much greater diversity among its leadership and members, the goal of diversification is not a temporary goal and the Division must remain focused on ensuring a diverse leadership and membership.
The Division’s Diversity Board will identify and nominate four lawyers of diverse backgrounds and experiences, who will be appointed by the Chair-Elect to funded fellowship positions within the Division effective during the following bar year. Upon completion of successful active participation in the first scholarship year, these participants then will be appointed to regularly funded positions within the Division the following bar year, giving consideration to the Division’s existing needs and the participants’ preferences based upon the first year participation.
Any lawyer or judge, who is a member of the Division, with a diverse background and experiences as defined by ABA Goal III, including racial and ethnic minorities, women, LGBT individuals, and persons with disabilities.
The fellows will receive Division reimbursement ($500 airfare and $100 per diem for two days) to attend the Division’s Fall Meeting (typically held in October) and Spring Meeting (typically held in May). Fellows also are expected to show their commitment to the Division by attending the ABA Annual Meeting.
The selection will be based on the individual’s achievement and commitment to the organized bar and General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division’s mission and goals. Fellows will be required to attend three of the Division’s meetings during their Fellowship. Fellows also agree to remain a member of the Division for a two-year period after their Fellowship concludes and participate in Division activities.