Diversity Resources

ABA and Judicial Division Resources

ABA Diversity and Inclusion 360 Commission

ABA President Paulette Brown (2015-16) led the Diversity and Inclusion 360 Commission in its one-year inquiry into how to develop sustainable action plans that would advance diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, the judicial system and the ABA itself.

Diversity and Inclusion Showcase Report

The compilation of ABA Opportunities, Programs and Services for Diverse Lawyers

Judicial Division Diversity Action Plan

The Judicial Division continues to implement its Diversity Action Plan adopted at the 2012 Annual Meeting. At each Judicial Division Council Meeting and at relevant times throughout the year, the Diversity Plan is discussed to assure the Division is in compliance. At the beginning of each fiscal year, the Division reviews the plan with new leadership for fresh input, conformity and to keep the plan animate.

Building A Diverse Bench: Selecting Federal Magistrate and Bankruptcy Judges 

Produced by the Judicial Division and the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, this manual provides guidance on how courts can increase diversity among federal magistrate and bankruptcy judges. While the federal judiciary overall has become more diverse, magistrate and bankruptcy courts continue to lag behind. Federal judges appoint and re-appoint magistrate and bankruptcy judges, so the judiciary itself can address this problem. This manual focuses on simple changes that can strengthen the applicant pool and the candidates selected for judgeships. Recognizing the already-heavy workload of federal courts, it outlines a set of best practices recommended by an advisory committee of federal circuit court, district court, magistrate, and bankruptcy judges, as well as circuit executives, clerks of court, and other court experts. Hon. Frank J. Bailey, a judge for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts, wrote the foreword. 

Judicial Division Committees on Diversity

Standing Committee on Diversity in the Judiciary

The Judicial Division Standing Committee on Diversity in the Judiciary (SCDJ), created in 1987, provides a catalyst to promote equal participation of minorities in the profession through educational experiences, outreach opportunities and numerous publications.

Tribal Courts Council

The Tribal Courts Council is devoted to educating the public and recognizing the American Indian Tribal courts and the judges thereof. The ABA has no similar convening body that brings tribal court judges together.  The Council is leading an effort to push for a Native American presence in the federal judiciary. 

Judicial Division Diversity Programs

Judicial Clerkship Program

The Judicial Clerkship Program is a joint effort of the ABA Judicial Division and the ABA Council for Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Educational Pipeline with the generous support of LexisNexis┬«. The Program is held for three days in various sessions and brings together up to 100 minority law students from around the country together with judges and former law clerks. The group participates in panel discussions, a research and writing exercise, and informal social events. These activities are designed to introduce and reinforce to the students the reasons and values of pursuing a judicial clerkship.  Numerous students have obtained clerkships and internships as a result of their participation.

Youth Outreach Program

The Standing Committee on Diversity in the Judiciary (SCDJ) presents outreach programs to local schools during the ABA Midyear and Annual Meetings each year. The outreach programs presented by SCDJ play a huge role in efforts toward advancing the legal profession by all. The purpose of the programs is to initiate an interest in the legal profession in students. This outreach program motivates students to seek mentors and schools of higher learning that will cultivate their efforts to enter the legal profession. The SCDJ usually spends approximately two hours speaking with students regarding their careers and experiences as they aspired to enter the legal profession.