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September 29, 2021 Get the SciTech Edge

Get the SciTech Edge: Membership and Diversity Committee News Fall 2021

By Charlene C. Goldfield and Christopher A. Suarez

Once again, the ABA Annual Meeting marked the start of new beginnings. The Science & Technology Section kicked off the bar year with new appointments and strong goals for the upcoming year. With fresh perspective and innovative ideas, we, SciTech’s new Co-Chairs of the Membership and Diversity Committee (MAD), look forward to working with you all! Here is our vision for this upcoming year to strengthen SciTech’s value and opportunities for our members:

Focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Efforts. While it has been a continuous effort of MAD to focus on its diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, we believe there is more to be done. To start, we hope to refresh our SciTech’s DEI plans by utilizing the ABA’s Updated Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan approved by the Board of Governors in 2008 and updated just this year. Additionally, we will be looking at tackling some of the prior DEI initiatives of MAD by focusing on creating relationships with other Science & Technology affinity groups. If you have any other great ideas for our DEI efforts, please reach out to us!

Improve Conversion Efforts Among Law Student Members. A growing Section is key to exceptional programming and valuable membership output. Therefore, it is important that SciTech focuses on fostering our law student membership by showcasing the wonderful benefits from continuing their membership even after law school graduation. Our current law student membership is composed of over 4,000 members and the numbers keep growing! Last year, the Section formed a Law Student Engagement Committee, and these students are motivated, engaged, and ready to lead our Section. However, our current membership must also be ready to mentor and engage any law student members that they may have in their own committees.

Engaged and Involved Membership and Diversity Committee. We believe that our committee’s work is central to SciTech. It is what helps our committees thrive by promoting novel and essential programming and dialogue in our field of law. But our work cannot be accomplished without the efforts of our MAD committee members. That is why we will make sure that we organize our committee by creating taskforce groups and projects that will touch upon each of these goals.

We believe that these goals will help make SciTech even more successful this bar year! Chris and I look forward to working with all our SciTech leaders and members. Of course, if you have any advice or suggestions, or would simply like to be engaged with MAD, feel free to reach out to us.

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By Charlene C. Goldfield and Christopher A. Suarez

Charlene C. Goldfield ([email protected]) is a co-chair of SciTech’s Membership and Diversity (MAD) Committee and Young Lawyer Division’s Liaison for the Cybersecurity Task Force. Charlene currently works as a federal government attorney. Christopher A. Suarez is a co-chair of the MAD Committee and a high-tech lawyer and trial litigator at Steptoe & Johnson LLP in Washington, D.C. He is a co-editor and co-author of The Internet of Things: Legal Issues, Policy, and Practical Strategies (ABA, 2019). Reach out to Charlene, Christopher, or staff Section Program Specialist Barbara Mitchell ([email protected]) for more information or with questions.