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Diversity & Inclusion


In-depth analysis and practical advice on topics relevant to your practice. Find all of the Diversity & Inclusion committee’s articles in this archive.


How Will COVID-19 Affect Equity in Education?
By Janice V. Arellano – March 23, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic is an opportunity to educate students about the importance of equality and anti-discrimination.


Youth Access to Mental Health Services Is an Un-Prioritized Civil Right
By Victor M. Jones – December 4, 2019
Children deserve the dignity of receiving quality services that allow them to lead healthy and productive lives in their homes and communities.

Navigable Waters: Providing Effective Client Services & Developing a Strong Client Base
By Brittney L. Denley – October 11, 2019
Insights from Krystal N. Bowen, associate general counsel for Zynga, on how attorneys at various stages of their careers can provide high-caliber client service and show an aptitude for client development.

The Hammond Guards and the Intersection of Race, Guns, and Patriotism
By Desni A. Scaife and Imani Robinson-McFarley – October 10, 2019
What an unknown story of African American resistance reveals about the concept of patriotism and its relation to the Second Amendment.

A Bit of Luck and a Lot of Hard Work: Her Path to Partner
By Davis G. Yee – October 7, 2019
Jennifer J. Lee, litigation partner at Dentons, discusses how various factors, including her firm's emphasis on diversity, helped her career.

Advocacy Matters: the Proposed Citizenship Question on the 2020 Census
By Quyen Tu – October 7, 2019
Why has this proposed question provoked so many lawsuits and vociferous concerns of an inaccurate count from community leaders?

“It Takes a Village”: How to Help Diverse Lawyers Navigate from Associate to Partner in Big Law Firms
By Cory Patterson – September 30, 2019
What role do all attorneys play in the new development of new lawyers?

Three Ways to Enhance Business Development Through Diversity and Inclusion
By Ebony S. Morris – September 30, 2019
Law firms should undoubtedly focus on financial health and business models—but that includes promoting and mentoring diverse young attorneys.

“Making It” in Private Practice: An Interview with Justin B. Weiner
By Lauren M. Weinstein – July 16, 2019
The thoughts of an attorney who has been a judicial law clerk, an associate at a big firm, and a partner at a small firm.

Disparities in Student Loans: How Did We Get Here and What Can We Do?
By Valerie Fontenot – July 16, 2019
At over $1.5 trillion, student loan debt has now surpassed credit card debt.

How Can Millennials Thrive in the Workplace?
By Ashley J. Heilprin – July 16, 2019
Senior colleagues can help younger employees integrate by understanding the environment in which they were raised.

Communicating in a Multigenerational Workplace
By April Davenport – July 16, 2019
Understanding the uniqueness of each generation in our workforce is a step toward thriving in our careers.

Tips for Young Lawyers Dealing with Expert Witnesses
By Roula Allouch – July 16, 2019
It is the attorney’s responsibility to try to have his or her expert witness connect with the jury in a way that causes the jury to be engaged in the testimony and information the witness is providing.

Exploring Intergenerational Diversity in the Profession with Perspectives from the Bench and Bar
By Megan A. Haynes – July 16, 2019
Perspectives from lawyers and judges of different generations on the changes in the practice of law and working with the “new” generational lawyer.

The Intersection of Race and Rape Viewed through the Prism of a Modern-Day Emmett Till
By Chelsea Hale and Meghan Matt – July 16, 2019
An exploration of the historical practice of exploiting and violating the bodies of African American women with impunity and how African American defendants accused of raping white women are treated differently under the law.

Trick or Treatment?
By Hayden Carlos and Cameron Pontiff – July 16, 2019
Confronting the horrific intersection of race, mental health, poverty, and incarceration in Louisiana.

The Road to Rainmaking
By Ashley J. Heilprin – May 16, 2019
Real tips from four women law firm leaders.

Getting a Seat at the Table: Advice for Women Lawyers on the Path to Partnership
By Ebony S. Morris – May 16, 2019
Four women provide invaluable insight into how they became partners within their firms.

The Persisting Gender Pay Gap: Recent Developments in the Law That Address Gender Pay Disparities
By Rebecca Sha – May 16, 2019
State laws prohibiting employers from asking prospective employees about their wage history, a pending Supreme Court case, and discrimination suits filed by women attorneys at prominent law firms.

One Law Firm’s Efforts to Help Women Attorneys Succeed
By Davis G. Yee – May 16, 2019
An interview with Jennifer J. Lee on Dentons’ WomenLEAD program.

Perspectives on Paternity Leave Bias in Law Firms
By Alexandra Navarre-Davis – May 16, 2019
A large-firm associate’s observations about attitudes and unspoken cultural norms toward men who use paternity leave.

Oral Advocacy, Brief Writing, and Professionalism: Tips for New Litigators
By Safie Da Costa Soarès – February 12, 2019
Advice for new litigators who need to know everything law school and bar study didn’t teach them.

Discover’s Law Department Takes a Unique Approach to Diversity and Inclusion Efforts
By Jennifer Rubin, Brandon Blazo, and David Curcio – February 12, 2019
Diversity and inclusion have been pillars of modern legal practice for years. Discover Financial Services’ Law Department is building on those pillars with a unique approach, while also achieving meaningful results.

Four Federal Judges Talk about Their Journey to the Bench
By Rachel Pereira – February 12, 2019
Demystifying the process for lawyers considering serving in the judiciary.

Justice Adrienne Nelson Blazes Trails
By Stephen E. Chappelear – February 12, 2019
Learn about the first African American to serve on Oregon’s high court in the state’s 159-year history.


What Do Jurors Think? Using Post-Trial Jury Interviews to Find What Is Important in Trial
By Edd Peyton and Escarlet Escobar – August 23, 2018
Fresh off the heels of a jury trial, trial attorney Edd Peyton offers insights about the importance of conducting post-trial juror interviews.

Nine Divine Tips for Trial Attorneys
By Robert K. Dixon – August 23, 2018
Seasoned trial attorneys offer concrete advice and tips for trying cases.

Why should law schools have to require LSAT or GRE? Law deans ask the question
By Stephanie Francis Ward – August 23, 2018
The requirement that ABA-accredited law schools use some sort of entrance exam in the admissions process hampers innovation and does little to guide schools toward the admission of students capable of mastering legal education and passing a bar exam, according to a group of law school deans.

Plan to drop law school entry exam requirement withdrawn before ABA House vote
By Stephanie Francis Ward – August 23, 2018
The proposal was part of a packet of resolutions involving the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar and its council.

UC Irvine Law Names Woman of Color as Its New Dean
By Robert K. Dixon – February 18, 2018
L. Song Richardson is the only woman of color serving as dean at a top-30 law school.

Strategies for Success: Tips for Women Lawyers from Two Trailblazing Women Who Found Their Own Paths
By Ashley J. Heilprin – February 18, 2018
Advice for women navigating the many obstacles that arise in corporate America.

A Former Trial Attorney Shares Her Insights as an Outside Counsel Turned Company Executive
By Robert K. Dixon – February 19, 2018
Alicia Wilson of Sagamore Development Company offers insights and advice on a host of topics from career advice for woman to diversity in the legal profession.

Lawyer Well-Being: An Uncharted Path to Increasing Diversity and Inclusion
By Jayne Reardon and Bree Buchanan – February 19, 2018
How can we address the corrosive culture that promulgates incivility, overwork, and alcohol consumption as a badge of honor at the root of the profession’s diversity problem?


An NFL Rule Comes to Level the Legal Playing Field
By Mark A. Flores – November 14, 2017
The legal community takes a page out of the league's playbook to promote more women and minorities into leadership roles within their firms and organizations.

Why Stop at Confederate Monuments? Remove the Codification of Supremacy and Oppression by Abandoning the Use of Non-Unanimous Juries in Criminal Cases
By Angela A. Allen-Bell – November 14, 2017
The removal of Confederate-era monuments eradicates visual displays of white supremacy and oppression. However, only a little attention is given to post-Civil War laws, alive and well in both Louisiana and Oregon, that allow for the use of non-unanimous juries in criminal cases.

Law Firms Employ Fewer Black Lawyers than Other Minorities, Survey Reports
By Debra Cassens Weiss – November 14, 2017
Minority law school enrollment recently topped 30 percent, but law firms are not making substantial progress in hiring and promoting minority lawyers.

With Law Firms Lagging in Diversity, How Can GCs Be a Force for Change?
By Lee Rawles – November 14, 2017
Despite decades of lip service to the importance of diversity in the legal community, the upper ranks of most law firms still fail to accurately reflect the gender and ethnic makeup of practitioners or the population at large.

The Growing Wave of Gender Discrimination Lawsuits Against Big Law
By Carmen D. Caruso – August 22, 2017
Here's hoping the plaintiffs take their cases to trial.

How SEO Law Provides a Path for Underrepresented Students into Corporate Law
By Van Ann Bui and Grace Pajonk – August 22, 2017
The SEO Law Fellowship Program identifies, trains, and develops talented black, Hispanic, and Native American law students for summer internships at the nation’s premier law firms.

Roundtable Recap—Mothers in Law: Women and Work-Life Balance
By Angel Chiang – August 22, 2017
Does being a woman increase the difficulty of finding happiness at the office and at home?

Often Missing from Conversations about Diversity and Inclusion: Cognitive Diversity
By Sara Canaday – August 22, 2017
Initiatives to build diversity in how employees think deserve a place alongside demographic diversity programs.

Racial Bias and the No-Impeachment Rule
By Mark A. Flores – May 25, 2017
The Supreme Court’s uniform belief that racial bias against a criminal defendant in the jury room can inflict significant harm to the system cannot be ignored.

Do Law Firm Communications about Diversity and Inclusion Efforts Affect Retention of Attorneys in Underrepresented Groups?
By Kathleen Nalty – May 25, 2017
It would be beneficial for law firm leaders to engage in deeper discussions about their firm’s existing diversity approach.

HP General Counsel Tells Law Firms to Meet Diversity Mandate or Forfeit Up to 10 Percent of Fees
By Debra Cassens Weiss – May 25, 2017
The mandate will apply to all U.S.-based law firms with 10 or more lawyers.

NALP Report on Law Firm Diversity Highlights "Incredibly Slow Pace of Change"
By Debra Cassens Weiss – May 25, 2017
The percentage of female and black associates increased slightly in law firms in 2016, though the representation is still below 2009 levels.

Transcending Law: Rising to Public Figure Status
By Tomas J. Garcia – February 15, 2017
Learn how to leverage early success to yield bigger opportunities in the future.

Paulette Brown: The Engineer for Justice
By Andre' B. Caldwell – February 15, 2017
The first African-American female president of the ABA on "the long arc of history."

Litigation Management: Results-Oriented Leadership
By James M. Truss – February 15, 2017
From understanding your client to employing new technology, learn the strategies to get results.

Lessons Learned at the 2016 Professional Success Summit
By Angel Chiang – February 15, 2017
A summary of the main takeaways from the inaugural event for litigators of color.

Exploring Your Leadership Brand
By Sahmra A. Stevenson – February 15, 2017
Branding and brand management have become increasingly recognized value creators for anyone seeking to grow in the legal field.


Join the Pack: An In-Depth Look at NAMWOLF
By Francine Friedman Griesing and Jessica L. Mazzeo – January 28, 2016
A detailed review of the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms.

Q&A with ABA President Paulette Brown
Our leader talks about her historic presidency and the benefits of diversity in the legal profession.

Lessons for the Legal Profession from the Fall 2015 Campus Protests
A review of the protests, their underlying causes, and recommendations for how attorneys can avoid similar issues in the workplace.

Nine Tips for Building a Diverse and Inclusive Law Firm
Attorneys from across the country offer their suggestions.

Diversity in Law: Who Cares?
Why Justice John Roberts implications were wrong.

Q&A with In-House Counsel Robert Harrison of ADT
The committee sits down with in-house counsel for one of the country's largest security companies.

Justice for All...Who Can Afford It
Use of excessive fees, fines, and bail results in unequal access to justice for the poor.

The Importance of Diversity in the Classroom: Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin
The Supreme Court offers some guidelines on how universities should consider race in application processes.

Q&A with Tucker Ellis Attorney Amanda Villalobos
Recently promoted to counsel, the University of San Diego Law School grad shares her insights as an attorney in a private law firm.

Six Stark Predictions about Diversity and Inclusion for 2020 and Beyond
Diversity efforts in law have been beneficial. But where is the room for improvement?

Election 2016: An Analysis of the Role of Race at the Halfway Mark
This election year stands as a fascinating test of what we know—or think we know—about the confluence of race and politics.

The Millennial Perspective on the Current State of the Practice of Law
Generation Y is more highly educated, motivated, and diverse than you might think.

SCOTUS Rules for Black Man Who Claimed Prosecutors Eliminated Blacks from Jury on Basis of Race
Georgia prosecutors violated the Constitution by using their peremptory challenges.

Q&A with In-House Counsel John Son of Union Supply Group
With the private law firm life in his rearview, a new general counsel shares his insights as a corporate counsel.

From Nigeria to the California Department of Justice: The Story of Joy Utomi
The deputy attorney general shares the story of her journey.

A Call to Arms to Minority Attorneys: If Diversity Dies, We Are to Blame
Experienced first-chair trial attorney offers sage advice for ensuring the success of the diversity and inclusion movement.


Recruiting Is Only the Start: 7 Tips for Retaining and Mentoring Diverse Attorneys
What are some best practices to improve retention and diversity at all levels?

Lack of Jury Diversity: A National Problem with Individual Consequences
Learn about the how, why, and repercussions of this endemic American problem.

Diversity and Inclusion: The Financial Services Sector and Dodd-Frank
When asked why they advocate for greater diversity and inclusion, white male allies and champions point to different reasons.


Uninvited: Preferred Counsel Lists and How They Limit Minority- and Women-Owned Law Firms’ Access to Legal Work
Remedying this exclusion of diverse firms requires prioritizing diversity in the procurement process.

Top 10 Hiring and Interviewing Tips for Moving Diversity Forward
Adopt these practices to help grow your firm's diversity.

Law Firm Models: Improving Diversity and Performance
Where within the legal system are there opportunities for change?

The Needle Moves When Leaders Push It
Diversity lessons from the NFL, the U.S. military, and corporate America.

JIOP Program Selected as State Bar Diversity Award Recipient
Congratulations to the Section's Judicial Internship Opportunity Program for fostering diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.

The Young Lawyer Leadership Program Continues Developing Leaders
The two-year program is designed to provide opportunities for young lawyers to become actively involved in the Section.

JIOP Mentoring Program: Developing a New Generation of Lawyers
The program provides diverse students an opportunity to meet practicing attorneys and develop a mentoring relationship with them.

The Business Case: Six Things Law Firms Can Do to Achieve Diversity
A new IILP report details whether diversity is reality or wishful thinking.

Practical Steps for Engaging White Male Attorneys as Champions for Diversity and Inclusion
When asked why they advocate for greater diversity and inclusion, white male allies and champions point to different reasons.

Banking on Diversity: Diversity and Inclusion as Profit Drivers—The Business Case for Diversity
The data is in, and it’s unassailable: Diversity and inclusion are enormously profitable.

Judicial Intern Opportunity Program: Ten Alumni Who Shine
Read about 10 outstanding alums from the Section's JIOP program.

Why Effective Retention Requires Attention to Our Implicit Biases
Be aware of five implicit biases that create an environment for women attorneys and attorneys of color that causes them to be less productive, lessen their performance and/or make them leave prematurely.

My Path to Serving the Profession
A young attorney's journey from Jamaica to a litigation career.

Supporting the Careers of Minority Attorneys
The Minority Trial Lawyer is your resource for information, training, mentoring, and professional and personal development.