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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion


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

Sound Advice

The "New Normal": Life After Quarantine
By Jocelyn Mitnaul Mallette and Robynn Moraites – June 16, 2020
In this Sound Advice podcast, North Carolina Lawyer Assistance Program (LAP) Director, Robynn Moraites, discusses why lawyers may be struggling as they transition back to working in the office after months of working from home due to COVID-19. Moraites also offers tips and resources to help ease the transition from a mental health perspective.   

Bend, Don't Break: Strategies for Cultivating Resilience in the Face of the Coronavirus and Other Life Stressors
By Elina Teboul and Jordana Confino – March 30, 2020
Resilienceor the ability to adapt in the face of obstacles or negative events—has been shown to be a core determinant of individuals’ ability to cope with major life stressors or crises, such as those presented by the coronavirus pandemic. In this podcast, Elina Teboul and Jordana Confino present a framework for developing a personal resilience plan that will leave listeners better equipped to handle the current public health crisis as well as any other current and future challenges.

Supercharge Your Law Practice Through Character Strengths
By Elina Teboul and Jordana Confino – March 19, 2020
Understanding and utilizing your greatest strengths will enable you to not only increase your self-awareness and ability to manage stress, but will also supercharge your law practice. In this podcast, Elina Teboul and Jordana Confino discuss how to identify your signature strengths and ways to more fully apply them in the workplace.

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)


Diversity Leads: Diversity in Education: Trends and Upcoming Legal Decisions
As the Supreme Court gears up to hear the Harvard affirmative action case and states consider legislation on critical race theory, this webinar explores the role of diversity and race in education, particularly with admissions. Our panelist of experts will walk through the evolution of the law and recent trends.

Parenting in the Pandemic: Perspectives from Attorney-Parents and Tips for Navigating the New Normal
As attorneys head into another year of practicing law amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, a panel of attorney-parents will share their perspectives and advice on finding and, importantly, creating balance without sacrificing our values and safety. From dealing with Zoom mishaps to negotiating flexible working arrangements, the speakers will answer questions about the new normal and returning to the office both during and after the pandemic. (1:04:23 hr)

Diverse Litigation Teams: The Key to Success
What role should diversity play in staffing litigation teams? How does diversity within your team affect your client engagement, oral advocacy, or trial presentation? Do judges and juries care, or even notice? Our panelists will walk you through creating diverse litigation teams and the immense benefits they provide in and out of the courtroom.

Diversity Leads: Model Rule 8.4(g): Eliminating Bias, Discrimination, and Harassment in the Practice of Law
ABA Model Rule 8.4(g) has been receiving some attention of late. In early December 2020, a federal judge enjoined the enforcement of Pennsylvania's version of Model Rule 8.4(g) that bans lawyers from knowingly manifesting bias or engaging in discrimination in the practice of law. And earlier that same year, the ABA issued Formal Opinion 493 to offer guidance on the purpose, scope, and application of Model Rule 8.4(g). This Roundtable provided a civil yet lively and informative discussion regarding this model rule. (57:35 min)

Diversity Leads: How Mentorship Advances the Careers of Diverse Lawyers
Mentorship is an extremely valuable relationship when building a legal career. The right relationship can benefit, and be rewarding to both the mentee and the mentor. Finding the right match and creating a mutually beneficial relationship can be overwhelming. This panel discussion will help both parties understand what it takes to cultivate and sustain a successful mentorship relationship.

During the discussion, we will look at both sides of the mentorship relationship, and talk about what works and does not work in developing the relationship.

Diversity Leads: The Role of Intersectionality in DE&I Efforts in the Legal Profession
The next installment in the Litigation Section's Diversity Leads Roundtable series, this session focuses on Intersectionality and how intersectional identities have shaped pathways within the legal profession. We have amazing speakers who will discuss their own experiences, as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion within the legal profession and what their firms have done in particular to promote diversity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Civility in Litigation and the Legal Profession
This Roundtable will discuss the importance of civility in the legal profession, and how systems that encourage civility, create a productive exchange of perspectives which can lead to the elimination of bias and divisiveness, and increase diversity and inclusion within the legal and judicial systems.

Diversity Leads Roundtable Series: Championing Diversity During Times of Crisis
The chaotic events of 2020 have made diversity and inclusion the hottest topic in the legal profession. Some law firms are embracing these courageous discussions and proactively making changes. Meanwhile, other firms are ignoring the topic altogether or have moved on after making a ‘one and done’ statement. Join us as Joseph K. West, Partner and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Duane Morris leads the insightful discussion about successfully managing diversity during times of crisis. Come prepared to learn how his experiences can help your office have these difficult discussions, how you should properly address your concerns and how to keep the diversity momentum going.

Small Firm, Big Impact: Diversity & Inclusion for the Solo/Small Firm Litigator
Solo practitioners and small firms comprise the majority of the legal profession. So, even as BigLaw and global corporations are being increasingly vocal about their diversity spend, a large sector of the legal profession may be missing out on the benefits of a diverse workforce. Join us for a conversation on D&I trends in litigation, the benefits of diversity to a solo or small firm practice, how to attract and foster diversity, and approaches solo and small firm litigators can use to implement and/or improve their inclusion initiatives.

Protecting Yourself When Providing Limited Scope Representation
The speakers will provide a professional malpractice insurer’s perspective on limited scope representation (also known as limited scope or discrete tasks representation). The presentation will help lawyers to identify ethical and professional “mines” and to avoid professional liability issues when providing unbundled legal services or limited scope representation. (1:00:40 min) Click here for the program materials.

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.

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.