Minority Trial Lawyer


Diversity Leads: Promoting Women and African Americans (as Judges and Clerks) in the Federal Judiciary

Wednesday, March 24, 2021: 6:30-8:00 PM ET

The lack of women and African Americans (as judges and clerks) in the federal judiciary is a longstanding issue that requires attention and action. To truly promote the fair and impartial administration of justice, the federal judiciary in the United States of America needs to reflect the diverse population it serves. This  roundtable will continue this important and timely discussion and is aligned with the ABA’s Goal III to promote the full and equal participation of minorities in the legal profession.

This panel will be moderated by Juvaria Khan, Founder of the Appellate Project. Panelists include:

  • Judge Bernice Bouie Donald of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • Judge Carlton Reeves of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi
  • Prince Chambliss, the first African American Law Clerk to a United States District Judge in the State of Alabama
  • Shanisha Y. Smith, former Law Clerk to the Honorable George C. Hanks, Jr. of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • Judge Vanessa Gilmore of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • Judge Sharon Coleman of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

This ABA Diversity Leads Roundtable is open to ALL law students, law school graduates, lawyers, and judges alike!

Register here!

Mentorship Program

It is with great pleasure for the Minority Trial Lawyer Committee to announce that our Mentorship Program with the ABA Section of Litigation is underway! 

With recent political and social events, this mentorship program is developed to allow students and young lawyers from historically underrepresented communities to connect with experienced mentors at the top of the field. Mentors will include experienced and accomplished lawyers and judges as well as in-house counsel and GCs. Mentors are matched based on mentees' interests and backgrounds, with a particular eye toward helping minorities advance in the legal field. We recognize the importance of mentorship in increasing inclusivity and seek to create partnerships between our members and members from other ABA sections that persist beyond this program.

For potential mentees, this is a great opportunity for you to connect with a mentor who can offer you valuable insight, life-changing advice, and professional opportunity—and help you navigate the next stage/s of your legal career. Interested mentees can sign up by filling out our mentee form.

For potential mentors, this is a unique opportunity to help you become a better ABA leader by helping develop our next generation of lawyers. Interested mentors can sign up by filling out our mentor form.

Get Published!

We are now accepting submissions for our Summer Newsletter. Do you have insight on "Paying It Forward" in the legal profession? Any practice tips on the Attorney Client Privilege? An article you've been working on and are looking to get published? Submit article proposals or practice pointers to Janice Arellano or Florence Johnson.

MTL Seeks Contributors for Website

As part of the Minority Trial Lawyer Committee's ongoing efforts to increase the quality of its website while also providing additional platforms for its members to increase their public visibility, the committee is currently seeking contributors for the Practice Points section of our website. Contributors to the News and Developments section would have the opportunity to write brief (between 250–750 words) "blog-like" entries about emerging topics that are relevant to the MTL's broad membership. If you are interested in submitting contributions to the MTL's Practice Points section or would like more information about this exciting opportunity, please contact Janice Arellano.

Share Your Sound Advice!

Do you have some great 8 to 12 minute advice that you wished you had earlier in your legal career? Are you willing to share that information with other attorneys to help them succeed in their practice? Then, you should consider doing a Sound Advice. MTL is currently soliciting sound advice pieces to publish on its website. For more information contact Charles Griffin.

Collaborative Brief Bank

LexisNexis and the Section of Litigation are excited to introduce the Collaborative Brief Bank, a cooperative effort to develop a robust brief and motion bank for ongoing use by members of the ABA Section of Litigation. The Brief Bank is a free service for Section of Litigation members and a way to share and access best-in-class work product. 

Minority Trial Lawyers Publications Subcommittee

The Minority Trial Lawyers Publications Subcommittee is currently accepting applications for News and Development Editors and contributors.  If you are interested, please send your resume and a brief description of your area of practice, legal topics you have written or spoken about and your involvement, if any, with ABA committees, to Janice Arellano.

Diverse Litigator Speaker's Directory

The Section of Litigation, through the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, seeks to develop a pool of diverse speakers who are

(1) leaders recognized in various areas of practice;

(2)  help to build the business case for diversity;  and

(3) create a resource for all section members seeking to expand their speaking opportunities in their area of practice and for all section committees seeking to include diverse speakers.

The Directory will be available through the Leadership Portal for all section leaders. 

Get Your Friends to Join MTL!

Finally, please encourage your colleagues to join us! Click here for more information.