During the ABA Midyear Meeting, the Honorable Marcella Holland, who has chaired the Judicial Division’s Standing Committee on Diversity in the Judiciary (SCDJ) for several years, accepted the ABA’s Diversity Award in its inaugural presentation. Judge Holland noted the important contributions of those who support the Judicial Clerkship Program (JCP), a collaboration between the ABA’s Pipeline Council and the Judicial Division and sponsored with the perennial support of Lexis Nexis. This year’s JCP saw further growth of the Native American student population which Co-Chair Robert Saunooke, noted had long been absent from the JCP. Co-Chair Judge Heather Welch shared this program continues to be one of the highlights of the ABA Midyear events.
For the evening program, the SCDJ focused on two outstanding mentoring programs with a specific focus on how each of those programs can be replicated across the country.
First, the Honorable Lorraine Lee, Chief Justice Mary Yu, and Perkins Coie Partner James Williams presented on the Washington Leadership Institute (WLI). Moderated by Mr. Williams, the program included individuals who had participated in the WLI discussing what the program requirements were and how it helped to launch them into amazing opportunities in their legal career.
Following the excellent presentations on WLI, JD Lawyers Conference member Coleman Potts, a partner in the Detroit Legal Group, PLLC, moderated a discussion on the ABA’s Men of Color Project.
Presentations in the evening program demonstrated the types of proactive activities that bar associations and individuals can organize to aid in ensuring a diverse bench and bar in the United States.
The events of this Midyear Meeting culminated with the presentation of the Diversity Award to the Judicial Division. The Awards was presented by former ABA Treasurer and Chair of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, Michelle Behnke.
The JD’s Diversity Day programming remains one of the highlights of ABA meetings and the tireless efforts of the Standing Committee on Diversity in the Judiciary and its staff results in positive and concrete steps toward achieving ABA Goal III objectives.