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Diversity Pipeline Summit

The Summit is Over...
But Our Work Has Just Begun

What's New?
Audio Recordings of Diversity Summit
Minority Attorneys: Want to be a Judge?
Summit Action Plans
Press Coverage
Program Materials
Special Thank You to Our Sponsors
Co-Sponsoring Bar Associations
Summit Schedule

What is the problem?
Why did LACBA convene a Diversity Summit?
What's different about LACBA's Diversity Summit?
How is the Diversity Summit structured?
What was the schedule?
How do I make a financial contribution?
How do I get more information?
Tell us about noteworthy diversity pipeline programs in LA County.
Links to other diversity resources

What is the problem?
The legal profession, particularly in California, has long recognized the need for greater diversity in its ranks. Many people have been working very hard for a long time to increase diversity in the legal profession. But we still have a long way to go.

According to the State Bar, the race/ethnicity makeup of the general population and the attorney population in Los Angeles County in 2000 was:

Hispanic White Asian Black
 Population  44.6%  31.1%  11.9%  9.8%
 Attorneys   6.6%  79.8%   6.8%  4.5%

Why did LACBA convene a Diversity Summit?
LACBA is taking action to bring the entire community together to work on this important issue because, notwithstanding all the good efforts to date, progress has been small compared with the need. Much remains to be done, and the entire community must join together to do it.

What's different about LACBA's Diversity Summit?
Many important things:
  • First, its concept. Law firms who want to hire people of color and other diverse candidates often wish law schools would graduate more. Law schools wish colleges would graduate more. Colleges wish high schools would graduate more. The Summit will apply systems analysis to the problem of diversity, using the concept of a pipeline from kindergarten through success in the practice of law and even appointment to the bench.
  • Second, its attendees. They included not only lawyers, law school representatives and judges, but also educators and administrators from the entire educational spectrum.In addition, the Summit included representatives of major corporations, community organizations and law-related education and diversity programs and politicians and government officials. A select group of leaders from this broad spectrum were invited to attend.In order to encourage leadership participation, there ;was no charge for attendance.
  • Third, its focus. LACBA';s Diversity Summit is not just about increasing diversity in the legal profession in the U.S. or even in California. It is about changing the face of the legal profession in Los Angeles County. It's close to home: our home.
  • Fourth, its purpose. Many conferences have been held to educate people about the issue of diversity in the legal profession and the myriad solutions that have been tried to date. The Summit did this, too. But its real purpose is beyond education. It is designed to encourage the leaders attending the Summit to explore ways in which they can partner to support and leverage their actions. And it is designed to encourage commitment to action by those who possess the power to lead.

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How was the Diversity Summit structured?

     Wednesday, June 20th—Education

  • The first day was devoted to education. The first plenary session kicked off the substantive program by explaining the tremendous gap between the diverse composition of the people, contrasted with the lawyers, of Los Angeles County. The diversity pipeline was explained as a means to help bridge the existing gap.
  • More than a dozen substantive programs explored in more depth the needs in Los Angeles County and various ways in which those means are being—and can be—addressed. These programs were organized into three major tracks: Early Pipeline, College & Law School Education, and the Practice of Law &the Courts. Each attendee was able to participate in four track programs of his or her choice, in addition to all of the plenary sessions.
  • Participants has an opportunity to meet colleagues from different fields and reflect upon what they have learned at a reception and dinner that capped the first day.

     Thursday, June 21st—Action Plans

  • The second day began with an exploration of the value of and mechanisms for partnerships. Working together is a key to success.
  • Participants explored, in small, diverse groups, how they can work with others to make a difference. Each participant had an opportunity to prepare an action plan for both himself or herself and his or her organization.
  • The day concluded with willing participants sharing their action plans with the entire Summit, both as examples and as inspiration.

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What was the schedule?
The Diversity Summit began with registration and continental breakfast at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 20, 2007. That day concluded with a 5:30 p.m. reception and 6:30 p.m. dinner. The Summit resumed Thursday morning with breakfast at 7:30 am and concluded at 4:00 pm. Click here for detailed schedule.

How do I make a financial contribution?
Sponsorships are available, and donations are accepted. For more information, go to www.lacba.org/donate.

How do I get more information?

  • For more information about the Diversity Summit, send an email to diversitysummit@lacba.org or call (213) 896-6560.
  • For information on other diversity resources, click here.

Tell us about noteworthy diversity pipeline programs in LA County.
Do you know of any existing diversity programs in Los Angeles County that seek to support and encourage individuals from underrepresented groups to become lawyers and succeed in the profession? Such programs help youngsters aspire to academic success and to envision themselves as lawyers, afford opportunities to learn about the law and lawyers, and provide mentoring and other activities that support them at all stages of schooling and throughout their careers.

If you are aware of any such programs, please click here and tell us about them.

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