The Young Lawyers Division Hosts First Diversity Summit
April 19, 2008 | Washington, D.C.
By Dana M. Douglas
Dana M. Douglas, a partner in the New Orleans law office of Liskow & Lewis, PLC, practices commercial litigation and is a member of the firm’s diversity and recruiting committees. She can be contacted at
The American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division is pleased to be hosting the “Diversity: The Next Generation” Summit in conjunction with the 2008 ABA YLD Spring Conference. This dynamic event promises to provide a very worthwhile and stimulating conversation on diversity in our profession.
The Diversity Summit will gather young lawyers from across the country representing state, local, and specialty bar organizations, as well as law firm, legal department, and minority legal community leaders, to exchange ideas on how young lawyers can ensure that the profession reflects the society it serves and foster an environment of inclusion. In conjunction with the summit, the YLD will be creating an online toolkit and vignette-driven diversity training manual.
Whether or not you can attend the summit, the YLD invites attorneys to contribute by submitting real-life situations or narratives (i.e., vignettes) dealing with diversity issues they have experienced as young lawyers. We also encourage comments on “best practices” to resolve those real-life situations. The vignettes will provide the breeding ground for open discussions during the summit on the challenges the profession faces in creating an environment of inclusion and how we can address those challenges. To submit a real-life situation or narrative, please visit summit.
The summit will commence with a summary of the state of diversity in the profession, focusing on racial, disability, ethnic, generational, gender, and sexual orientation diversity.
Our purpose in hosting this event is twofold. We hope the individuals who attend and participate in the summit will gain an increased sensitivity and awareness of diversity issues by engaging in thought-provoking discussions on relevant situations. We also hope that participants will use the innovative solutions created through these discussions to make their respective work environments more inclusive. Doing so will help enable all organizations to operate more effectively in a global marketplace.
For more information on the 2008 ABA YLD Spring Conference and the “Diversity: The Next Generation” Summit, visit