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Federal judges, legal leaders to discuss diversity in the legal profession at D.C. conference


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Federal judges, legal leaders to discuss diversity in the legal profession at D.C. conference

By Irma Romero

WASHINGTON, April 30, 2014 — The American Bar Association’s Minority Counsel Program brings together diverse lawyers from across the country for a three-day conference that covers topics such as the Schuette decision on affirmative action and diversifying corporate boards, government legal offices and the judiciary May 14-16 in Washington, D.C.

Judge Gladys Kessler of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Judge Andre M. Davis of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and Maryland Court of Special Appeals Judge Michele D. Hotten will discuss diversity in the judiciary during the luncheon program on Friday, May 16. 

Veronica Villalobos, director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and Bill Alvarado Rivera, former president of the Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia, will focus on diversifying government legal offices during the luncheon program on Thursday, May 15. 

ABA President James R. Silkenat and Paulette Brown, the ABA president-elect nominee who is slated to become the first woman of color to lead the association, will speak about meeting the needs of society and the legal profession at 8 a.m. Thursday. 

What:   Minority Counsel Program
            Sponsored by the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession

When:  May 14-16 

Where: Loews Madison Hotel
            1177 15th St. NW
            Washington, DC 20005

Program highlights include: 

General Counsel Roundtable — Karina Ayala Bermejo of Metropolitan Family Services, Monica Hargrove of Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, Leslie Thornton of Washington Gas Light Co. and Thomas Evans of Walmart will conduct a Q&A on topics including diversity challenges, successes and best practices. 
Thursday, May 15, 1:30 – 3 p.m. 

Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action: Affirmative Action Again and the Fight for Equality by Any Means Necessary” — NAACP Assistant General Counsel Anson Asaka and John Brittain, law professor at the University of the District of Columbia, will address the Supreme Court’s decision in this case and offer insights on residual legal issues impacting affirmative action education programs and initiatives.
Friday, May 16, 8:30 – 10 a.m. 

“Cybersecurity and 21st Century Legal Practices” — Panelists including Associate Judge Herbert B. Dixon Jr. of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and Microsoft Assistant General Counsel Matt Lundy will explore a variety of cybersecurity topics, including the key ethical issues facing lawyers, precautions for using the cloud and “bring your own device” policies, and the legal effects of cybercrime.
Thursday, May 15, 10:30 a.m. – noon 

A complete agenda can be found online. 

This event is free for members of the press. For media credentialing, please contact Emily Ortman at

The Minority Counsel Program acknowledges support from Microsoft Corporation, Clark Hill PLC, AT&T and Walmart. 

The Minority Counsel Program acknowledges generous support from Microsoft Corporation, Clark Hill PLC, AT&T, and Walmart. With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews.


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