IILP Update

01 Aug 2012 2:38 PM | Sandra Yamate (Administrator)

In this Update:

  • What's New
  • What’s Been Going On
  • What’s Happening
  • What’s Coming Up
  • What You Can Do to Get Involved with IILP

Summer greetings from the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession ("IILP")! Whatever happened to the notion of summer being a time to slow down, relax, and take some time off? It seems that everyone, including IILP, is as busy as ever!




New IILP Board Members and Advisory Board Members

Please join us in welcoming the newest members of the IILP Board of Directors:

  • Stuart A. Alderoty – Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel for HSBC North America Holdings, Inc.
  • Brian W. Duwe – Partner, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP
  • Elisa D. Garcia C. – Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Office Depot
  • Thomas P. White – Partner, Schiff Hardin LLP

We’re also pleased to introduce you to the newest additions to the IILP Advisory Board:

  • Ilah Adkins – Vice-President, Legal Counsel, RBS Citizens N.A.
  • Bonita K. Black – Partner, Frost Brown & Todd LLC
  • Sandra Langs – Human Resources and Professional Development Director, Phillips Lytle LLP
  • Raj N. Shah – Partner, DLA Piper LLP

The IILP Board and Advisory Board will continue to lead us in our quest for Real change. Now.


Lawrence R. Baca to be Honored

IILP Board Member Lawrence R. Baca, a past president of the Federal Bar Association and a three-time past president of the National Native American Bar Association who spent over thirty years working in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, will be honored with the American Bar Association’s Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities’ Thurgood Marshall Award during the 2012 ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago next week. We’re all very proud of Lawrence and pleased to see him recognized with this prestigious and well-deserved award. For more information, visit www.AmericanBar.org.




Diverse Partners Network – Washington, D.C.

IILP Chair Marc Firestone, Executive Vice President of Corporate and Legal Affairs and General Counsel of Philip Morris International, very much enjoyed speaking to and meeting with the members of the Diverse Partners Network in Washington, D.C. The questions that the members posed were provocative and the discussions stimulating! Our thanks to Ben Wilson, David Douglass, and Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP for making this possible.


ABA Section of Business Law

IILP participated in the ABA Section of Business Law’s 2012 Business Bar Leaders Conference where we examined the particular challenges that state and local bar associations encounter as they try to recruit, retain and engage lawyers who are racial and ethnic minorities in their work and leadership. Moderator Conrad Goodkind and our fellow panelist Wendi Kromash helped lead a lively and very interactive discussion.


Law Preview

IILP was happy to partner with Law Preview to award scholarships for Law Preview’s law school preparatory program to five incoming students at Loyola Law School – Chicago. The students – Jarrett Adams, Jason Cerecedes, Shamoyita DasGupta, Kristen Kawaguchi, and Nathan Howze – were selected from a highly competitive group of applicants whose outstanding credentials left our IILP selection committee relieved not to be involved in law school admissions decisions!


Women and Minorities: Willing Partners or Reluctant Allies?

IILP and the National Association of Women Lawyers (“NAWL”) have launched a series of programs exploring whether women and minorities collaborate as effectively as they might to advance diversity and inclusion goals, and, if they do not, examining what might be done to foster stronger and more effective collaborative efforts. We presented the program in Chicago with the Chicago Bar Association and again in New York at the NAWL Annual Meeting and plan to present it in other locations around the country as we seek to delve further into some of the interesting regional /geographic differences (Hello, Hawaii!) and generational issues that are coming to the fore. If you think the lawyers in your city would benefit from the program, please let us know. We’ll be posting the dates and cities for upcoming presentations  as we schedule them and hope that you’ll join us when we’re in a location near you.


Candid Conversations: Diversity and Inclusion and the Roles and Responsibilities of Corporate In-House Counsel

IILP kicked off its “Candid Conversations” series by leading a discussion with a number of in-house counsel for the US Law Firms Group at their meeting in Louisville. There was a very frank discussion about the effectiveness of traditional corporate client-lead diversity and inclusion efforts, whether there are new strategies that ought to be tried, and, if so, what those strategies are. Our in-house panelists enjoyed the opportunity to really examine diversity strategies and the law firms in attendance welcomed the candid insights that they offered. Our thanks to Bonita Black and Frost Brown & Todd LLC for inviting us to participate.


Diversity and Inclusion: The Future of Boston Law Firms in a Global Economy

IILP Chair Marc Firestone addressed the Boston Bar Association to explain IILP’s work followed by a panel discussion during which he and other corporate in-house counsel leaders such as Mark D. Roellig, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company; Krish Gupta, Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, EMC Corporation; and Rachael Rollins, General Counsel , Massachusetts Department of Transportation and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority  discussed the challenges facing law firms in smaller cities as they compete in a global marketplace and the impact that their diversity and inclusion efforts can play. Thank you to our host and program moderator E. Macey Russell, Boston Bar Association President Lisa C. Goodheart, President-Elect J.D. Smeallie, Executive Director Rich Page, and Diversity Committee Co-Chair Renee Landers for allowing IILP to be involved in a very thought-provoking program.


Defense Research Institute

IILP presented the findings from its report, “The Business Case for Diversity: Reality or Wishful Thinking?” and discussed the implications for the defense bar at the DRI Diversity for Success Seminar in Chicago. We also participated in a program discussing the glass ceiling and current issues facing women lawyers. DRI’s Diversity for Success conference is one of the most interesting and informative programs we’ve attended and one where we learned quite a lot ourselves. Doug Burrell, Rosevelie Marquez Morales, and Pamela Goldsmith are to be commended for the amazing programs they put together.


State Bar of Texas Diversity Forum

IILP was honored to be among the participants at the Diversity Forum presented by the State Bar of Texas. The discussion was wide-ranging and engaging and for that we thank our fellow panelists Shauna Clark, Amy Davis and moderator Evangeline Mitchell. If you haven’t met Evangeline but are concerned about pipeline issues for African Americans, visit the website for her National Black Pre-Law Conference and Law Fair at www.blackprelawconference.com.




Harvard Law School Negotiation and Mediation Clinic

IILP is pleased to announce that it is continuing its partnership with the Harvard Law School Negotiation and Mediation Clinic to study how law firm and their lawyers communicate internally on sensitive topics such as perceptions of bias. This is Phase Two of a project that began in 2010 and is part of an ongoing effort to identify strategies, policies and protocols that law firms can implement to facilitate clearer and more accurate communication across lines of difference. If you know of a large law firm that would be willing to participate in the study in future years, please let us know.


2012 IILP Review of the State of Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession

Under the leadership of Professor Elizabeth Chambliss at New York Law School, the data from last year’s report is being updated. We’re receiving some fascinating articles about diversity and inclusion in the legal profession that we think you’ll find just as stimulating and thought-provoking as last year’s Review, if not more so!

We expect to publish the 2012 IILP Review in the fall and will be hosting seven symposia highlighting facets of the Review shortly thereafter in Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle and Washington, D.C. We’ll be announcing dates in a few weeks. Out thanks to The Claro Group for its continued sponsorship of this publication and the symposia.


If your law firm, corporation, bar association or other organization would like to place an ad in this year’s IILP Review, sponsorship opportunities are available and are attached to this email.


Metropolitan Bar Associations Caucus

The leaders from a number of metropolitan bar associations from around the US and Canada will be convening at the Chicago Bar Association on August 2nd to discuss how they might better collaborate and share resources in areas such as diversity and inclusion efforts and programming and law practice management resources. IILP will be making a presentation about programs we can offer to metropolitan bar associations to support their efforts.


Diversity and Inclusion in Mid-Size Cities

The Future of Law Firms in Mid-Size Cities in a Global Economy

Candid Conversations: Diversity and Inclusion and the Roles and Responsibilities of Corporate In-House Counsel

IILP’s programs are garnering a great deal of interest. The programs we presented earlier this year in St. Louis, Louisville and Boston are proving to be popular models that can be tailored for the particular challenges and demographics of other cities. We are in the process of putting together a schedule of presentations for other cities; if you think that your city would welcome such a program and are willing to help bring one of these sessions to your local area, please let us know.




Industrial-Strength Diversity and Inclusion

Sometimes, it’s a matter of perspective.


In art and architecture, perspective can change one’s view and perceptions. From ink blots to Vatican Museum masterpieces to the columns of the Parthenon or the Colonnade in St. Peter’s Square, perspective influences what we see and changes what we understand.


The legal profession has been addressing the lack of diversity and inclusion within its ranks for decades.  We’ve looked at it in terms of the type of diversity (gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc.), practice settings (corporate in-house, law firms, etc.), geography (state and local bar diversity programs and conferences), practice areas (litigation, labor and employment law, business law, etc.), and even the intersection of some or all of these. Yet our profession remains one of the least diverse in America.


If it is true that corporate clients can drive diversity and inclusion in the legal profession – and they have certainly been effective at garnering attention for the diversity challenges that the legal profession faces – then one might reasonably expect that all the attention paid to diversity and inclusion initiatives initiated as a result of client demands might have yielded far greater success. That it has not suggests that corporate clients might not in fact have the ability to influence the rest of the profession, or that they’ve not fully exercised their influence, or that they have yet to find the best way to do so. Perhaps a different perspective is needed.


With that in mind, the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession (“IILP”) is launching a series of programs designed to look at the lack of diversity and inclusion in the legal profession from a new perspective, that of the various industries that comprise the legal profession’s business clients.


“Industrial-Strength Diversity and Inclusion” will delve into how different industries – e.g., financial services, consumer goods, technology – are addressing diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. It will look at each industry’s diversity and inclusion objectives, seek to understand the driving forces for diversity and inclusion in that industry, and examine relevant strategies and promising initiatives on an industry-wide basis so that those in the same arena – business partners, competitors, suppliers, regulators, etc. – can discuss and explore what clients in that industry – and the outside counsel who seek to provide their legal services – can, are, and should be doing to promote greater diversity and inclusion in their law departments, among their outside counsel, and within the broader legal profession. Participants will gain greater insights into, and understanding of, the forces at work in driving the diversity and inclusion efforts of different industries so as to better identify and implement those strategies best-suited to be effective in a given industry.


A schedule for the programs will be posted on the IILP website at www.TheIILP.com as they become available.




New IILP Partners and Allies

IILP is pleased to welcome its newest Partner, Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP and its newest Ally, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP and to thank them for their support of and belief in IILP, its mission and its work. If your firm, company, agency, bar association, law school or other organization would like to become an IILP Partner or Ally, you may download the application form from www.TheIILP.com.


Thank you again for the interest that you’ve shown in the IILP. We hope that you’re pleased by the work we’re doing and we welcome hearing from you!




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