Judicial Division Resources

Race Equity and Inclusion

Publications/Policy

Enhancing Justice: Reducing Bias

In 2017 the Judicial Division published Enhancing Justice: Reducing Bias, addressing the issue of implicit bias on the bench and providing approaches to lessen the impact.  The book seeks to help “break the bias habit” by increasing knowledge and awareness of implicit bias, improved understanding and practice of procedural fairness and of culturally competent communication and cultures, and a sustained commitment to mindfulness. 

The Judges' Journal

Building a Diverse Bench: Selecting Federal Bankruptcy and Magistrate Judges

In 2017 the Judicial Division and the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law published a manual providing guidance on how courts can increase diversity among federal magistrate and bankruptcy judges.  This joint publication was created following the passage of Resolution 102 at the 2016 ABA Annual Meeting, which was developed following a roundtable discussion of the issue hosted by the Judicial Division’s Standing Committee on Diversity in the Judiciary at the 2015 ABA Annual Meeting.  In 2018 District Judge Carlton W. Reeves wrote an opinion highlighting the lack of diversity on the federal bench, and cited the publication.

Resolution 116

Resolution 116, which adds marital status, gender identity and gender expression to the ABA’s list of reasons jurors should not be denied eligibility for jury service. That provision was not contested, but a second provision called for judges to instruct juries on implicit bias—biases that may not be entirely conscious—and encourage them not to make decisions based on personal likes or dislikes of protected classes. Both halves of the resolution amend the ABA Principles for Juries and Jury Trials.

Programs

Special Education and School to Prison Pipeline: Statutory  and Judicial Interventions to Interrupt or Redirect the Pipeline 

Part I | Part II
In 2019 the Judicial Division partnered with the Commission on Disability Rights to present a two-part CLE webinar series exploring issues pertaining to students with disabilities and particularly African-American students with disabilities, who are disproportionately part of the school-to-prison pipeline, and how to break this trajectory.  Part I will addressed the statutory protections and interventions available through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and related legislation. Part II focused on the interventions available through the judicial process which can help divert disabled students from the juvenile justice system and insure that they are properly identified and served in the school setting. 

Standing Committee on Diversity in the Judiciary

Bi-Annual Diversity Program: Path to the Bench
Twice each year, in conjunction with the ABA Midyear and Annual Meetings, the Judicial Division’s Standing Committee on Diversity in the Judiciary presents a Path to the Bench program for law students and local attorneys in the host city.  Diverse panelists share their personal stories of how they advanced to careers in the judiciary, and offer best practices and information on opportunities available through the ABA’s Judicial Clerkship Program.  Audiences typically range from 20 – 100 per program.

Bi-Annual Youth Outreach Program
Twice each year, in conjunction with the ABA Midyear and Annual Meetings, the Judicial Division’s Standing Committee on Diversity in the Judiciary conducts a youth outreach program to youth in the host city.  A diverse group of judges and attorneys meet with minority students from local schools or youth programs, lead a civics exercise, share their personal stories, and answer questions.  The program provides many at-risk youth with a positive interaction with members of the judiciary, and inspires them to consider careers in the legal profession.  Student participants typically range from 50 – 150 per program.