Diversity & Inclusion


Learn while you’re on the go. Listen to the Diversity & Inclusion committee's audio recordings on this archive page.

Sound Advice

Unique Perspectives and Advice on Feeling Like Not Belonging as a Diverse Attorney
By John A Martinez – July 1, 2019
John A. Martinez is the Director of Litigation Operations for USAA. He describes a unique situation as a young attorney in which he felt like he did not belong in the courtroom as a diverse attorney and was put on the spot by a judge. He also provides advice to new attorneys on how to deal with feeling like not belonging, whether it is in the courthouse or at the workplace as a diverse attorney.

The Importance of Recognizing Vicarious Trauma in Your Daily Practice
By Jennifer Selitti and Tracey Telemaque – February 4, 2019
Are you suffering from Vicarious Trauma? For many lawyers and judges (as well as jurors, courtroom personnel, and others), the violent, disturbing, and unsettling reality they witness inside and outside the courtroom as part of their profession can become debilitating. Vicarious trauma, also called compassion fatigue or secondary trauma, is a form of post-traumatic stress disorder. Attorney Jennifer Selitti discusses how to recognize when we are effected by vicarious trauma, and how to best cope with it.

Implicit Bias in the Legal Workplace
By Lezlie A. Griffin & Rebecca Sha – December 12, 2018
Lezlie Griffin, the assistant dean of career development and diversity initiatives at Tulane Law School talks about implicit bias in the legal world. She shares what she's learned through conferences, personal experiences, observations, and the diversity and implicit bias program she has developed at Tulane Law School.

Unconscious Effective Practices
By Edd Peyton – March 7, 2018
An analysis of effective practices that attorneys often employ unconsciously when speaking and impactful speech techniques.

Where’s My Stuff? Take a Systems Approach to Organizing
By Edd Peyton – January 8, 2018
A brief discussion regarding a systems based approach to organizing, desk, email, phone & filing.

A Student’s Reflection on a High School Summer Law Intern Program
By Edd Peyton & Sydnee Thomas – November 7, 2017
Sydnee Thomas, a Memphis high school student, shares her experience in a summer law internship program for Memphis high school students.

Tips on Your Diverse Leaders Academy Application
By Edd Peyton – November 7, 2017
Edd Peyton discusses the process of applying for the DLA program.

Mental Health and Work Life Balance
By Sherill Barber
Mrs. Barber discusses stresses and strains of over-working and how to mentally work with the problem.

Ten Tips to Make It Rain by Being Yourself
By Alicia Wilson
Baltimore litigator Alicia Wilson discusses the importance of being true to yourself and how that will help build your business and career.

Diverse Leaders Academy: An Overview Plus Tips to Complete Your Application
By Daiquiri Steele
Diverse Leaders Academy member Daiquiri Steele describes how the program can help your career and offers some tips for gaining acceptance into the program. (7:01 min)


Asylum in the United States
Immigration in the United States has always been a hot-button issue, but it is arguably hotter now more than ever. In this Roundtable, Hiroko Kusuda and Ali Dehghannezhad will narrowly focus on seeking asylum in the United States and will include discussions on: (1) comparing policies of the Obama administration and the Trump administration, and the exclusive power the president has to implement his policies through executive orders; (2) the different types of asylum, and who is entitled to asylum; (3) the distinction between refugees and asylum seekers, and how the travel ban, upheld by the Supreme Court, affects these two groups; and (4) the recent lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s policies of making asylum seekers wait in Mexico until their case can be heard.

Diversity in the Judiciary
This program will allow participants to hear from diverse members of the judiciary on their journey to serve in their current role and what challenges they faced or may continue to encounter. Hon. Nannette Jolivette Brown, Hon. J. Michelle Childs, and Hon. Keathan B. Frink will also provide advice/suggestions for those interested in pursuing a path to the bench.


New Year, Better Me
The purpose of this is to provide advice, tips, and encouragement to take care of "me" first. The holiday season should be a joyous time of year, but it often brings on depression. That coupled with unattainable New Year's resolutions can have a negative impact on one's emotions. This forum will help you beat the holiday blues. Our speaker will provide us useful advice on getting a great start to a great new year.

Women in Minority-Owned Firms: How to Stand Out and Make It Count
Women in minority-owned firms will speak on their experiences in minority-owned firms and as firm owners. They will provide insight on the profession from their prospective and provide advice to other women interested in following the same path.

Working Toward a Better Me: Wellness Within
Discussing the importance of taking care of yourself as a legal professional. Open dialogue of personal experiences. We will have a mental health professional give strategic tips on improving and maintaining positive mental health. We will also have a member of the Section's Mental Health & Wellness Task Force discussing strategies and the Bar's involvement.

Mothers in Law: Women and Work-Life Balance
This Roundtable discusses how women can put balance and harmony in both their personal and professional lives. Topics include making partner at work and home, thriving outside the firm, and addressing work-life conflicts.

The Gavel Gap: Diversity on the Federal Bench and its Implications
More attorneys of color and women are being named to the federal bench. However, the composition of the federal judiciary still does not resemble that of the overall population. This Roundtable will explore the diversity on the federal bench and its implications.

Cultural Competency in Lawyering
By the Diversity & Inclusion Committee and co-sponsored by the Access to Justice Committee
This Roundtable discusses the importance of cultural competency in lawyering and explores how implicit bias relates to cultural competency.