Goal IX Newsletter

Winter 2000, Volume 6, Number 2

Celebrating Diversity by: Charisse R. Lillie, Commission Chair

LillieThe American Bar Association Commission on Opportunities for Minorities in the Profession sponsors pro-grams and publications that further one aspect of the ABA’s Goal IX—to promote full and equal participation in the legal profession by minorities. This edition of the Goal IX newsletter greets the year 2000 with the Commission finalizing innovative programs for the 2000 Annual Meeting in New York and London. In the meantime, we hope that you will join us in celebrating diversity in the legal profession.

Interest in the National Summit on the Retention of Minority Lawyers in the Private Sector, scheduled for April 27-28, 2000, in Boston, Massachusetts, is very high. Stakeholders in law firms and corporate law departments are confirming our belief that the issue of retention of minority lawyers in the private sector remains a major challenge for the legal profession. This conference has great potential to serve as a catalyst for change, discussion, and the beginning of a long-term analysis of the best practices for retaining minority lawyers in private sector organizations.

 We are also excited about the National Conference for the Minority Lawyer, scheduled for May 11-12, 2000, in San Francisco, California. This conference represents coalition building at its best within the ABA. This unique program for business lawyers, litigators, and in-house counsel will provide practical training for minority lawyers and excellent networking opportunities. This conference is co-sponsored by the ABA Section of Business Law, the Section of Litigation, as well as the National Bar Association, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Hispanic National Bar Association, and the Native American Bar Association. This historic collaboration of constituent ABA committees and related organizations that are committed to the precepts of Goal IX sets a new standard for outreach and cooperation.

I have heard from many of you in the aftermath of the Midyear Meeting in Dallas (see page 11). Many of us who attended the Spirit of Excellence Awards luncheon are still basking in the glow of the positive energy and can-do spirit of our 2000 Spirit of Excellence awardees. Each year, I am amazed at the excitement generated by our venerable, dynamic award winners. Nominations are open for the 2001 Spirit of Excellence Awards. Please share with us information about a lawyer who has accomplished much against great odds. The Commission will be pleased to entertain your nomination(s). For a 2001 nomination form, visit the Commission’s newly redesigned Website (www.abanet.org/minorities).

We hope that you will find time in your busy schedules to participate in American Bar Association programs and initiatives that focus on diversity (see page 8). We need your insights, your ideas, and your energy.

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