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Minority Trial Lawyer


Promoting Women and Black Americans in the Financial Services Industry—a Fireside Chat with Deborah Enix-Ross

Although the representation of women and Black Americans varies across the different industries that make up the financial services workforce, it is no secret that women and Black Americans lag far behind their non-minority counterparts, especially at the highest levels of the corporate ladder. Join us for a discussion about how we can promote and accelerate the inclusion of these two groups in the financial services industry to create opportunity, equity, and successful outcomes for all.

The conversation will be moderated by LaFonda Willis, cochair of the American Bar Association’s Securities Litigation and Consumer Litigation/Regulatory Sub-Committee for the Section of Litigation’s Woman Advocate Committee and Young Lawyer’s Sub-Committee Chair for the Real Estate, Condemnation, and Trust Litigation Committee.

The seven-member panel consists of:

  1. Deborah Enix-Ross, President of the American Bar Association;
  2. Pamela Gibbs, Director, Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, Securities and Exchange Commission;
  3. De'Ana Dow, Partner & General Counsel, Capitol Counsel & Founder, Financial Services Professionals;
  4. Marsha Dixon, Senior Associate General Counsel, Nasdaq;
  5. Liz Davis, Partner & co-chair of Davis Wright Tremaine’s national financial services practice;
  6. Tanisha Cole Edmonds, Chief Diversity Officer & Director, Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, Commodity Futures Trading Commission; and
  7. Paige Pratter, Assistant General Counsel & Head of Business and Regulatory Investigations - Compliance & Ethics, Microsoft.

This is a virtual event with no in-person option and this timely and highly important conversation is being offered free of charge.

Register today!

Exclusionary Zoning, Systemic Racism and Racialized Housing Segregation

Exclusionary zoning (large lot area minimums, setbacks, FAR requirements, and prohibitions against multi-family uses as-of-right) began in earnest in the 1960's, when white urban flight began, and at the tail end of de jure redlining. Unlike de jure redlining, exclusionary zoning has only gotten more stringent, with ever greater single-family lot minimums encompassing greater and greater percentages of the territorial jurisdictions of American municipalities. This exclusionary zoning, together with its kissing cousin, NIMBY-ism, pose significant barriers to entry into the residential property market, and are primary drivers of our nationwide housing crisis. But, exclusionary zoning and NIMBY-ism also, relatedly, are a primary cause of stubborn racialized housing segregation. This program will provide the history undergirding and will detail these trends. This webinar will further provide insight into how to address and solve these pernicious trends in America's housing market and the legal landscape that surrounds it. The land use and real estate litigation bar, which predominantly serves the real estate development community, would and should be natural allies of the solutions, since the policy fixes include stronger state law preemptive provisions and mandates for greater housing production, i.e., more economic activity in the real estate sector.

Register now!

Ethics Considerations for Pro Bono Representations In a Pandemic and Post-Pandemic World

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the fragility of success and stability for residents and businesses in the nation’s numerous underinvested, frequently diverse, communities. Just as the pandemic and post-pandemic world has highlighted these communities’ difficulties, it also has highlighted an evolving landscape for representing these communities on a pro bono basis. The need has not lessened, but it has changed, and we need to ensure that when we take on a pro bono matter, we are prepared to serve our clients to the fullest extent of our abilities, while also ensuring we are complying with all of our ethical duties as their counsel. Topics will include how to identify and prioritize the most pressing needs of these communities, balancing countervailing business interests within your firm or practice that do not represent actual conflicts, managing your representation from home, ensuring confidentiality, and best practices in remote pro bono representation.

Register today!

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 the chairs of the MTL.

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 the chairs of the MTL.

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 the chairs of the MTL.

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.