Purpose of Section:
The Diversity in the Profession Section is dedicated to facilitating full and equal participation in the legal profession by members of communities that historically have been underrepresented, based on differences in age, color, physical and mental (dis)ability, ethnicity, family or marital status, sex, gender identity or expression, geographic location, language, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, military and veteran status, learning styles, and other characteristics that make people unique. The mission of the Diversity in the Profession Section is to increase and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession, including by advancing the careers of diverse lawyers and legal professionals, providing leadership and educational opportunities, promoting policies and programs that advance diversity, equality, and inclusion, and providing mentorship opportunities for lawyers and students in the diversity pipeline.
Take Our Pledge to Increase Diversity in the Legal Profession
I. COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY PRINCIPLES
LOS ANGELES COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION
COMMITTEE ON DIVERSITY IN THE PROFESSION
STATEMENT OF GOALS AND PRINCIPLES FOR
THE LEGAL PROFESSION WITH RESPECT TO
RECRUITMENT, RETENTION, AND PROMOTION OF ATTORNEYS THAT
ARE MEMBERS OF HISTORICALLY UNDERREPRESENTED GROUPS
EACH SIGNATORY HEREBY AFFIRMS THE FOLLOWING PRINCIPLES:
The Los Angeles County Bar Association Committee on Diversity in the Profession (“Association”) and each signatory (“Signatory”) remain committed to fostering diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.
Although Los Angeles County is one of the most diverse communities in our nation, many groups continue to be underrepresented in the legal profession (especially in leadership and management positions). These groups (each, an “Underrepresented Group”) include racial and ethnic minorities, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and women.
It is in the best interests of firms, businesses, and government legal departments in Los Angeles County to implement creative and workable solutions to issues that have an adverse impact on the recruitment, retention, and promotion of attorneys from Underrepresented Groups.
A diverse group of talented legal professionals is critically important to the success of every organization that employs lawyers, including law firms, businesses, government legal departments, law schools, and public service organizations.
Every organization that employs lawyers should prioritize efforts to increase the number of attorneys from Underrepresented Groups at all professional levels (particularly leadership and management positions).
Periodic renewals of commitments with respect to diversity and inclusion and commitments to participate in efforts to measure progress are critically important to diversifying the legal profession.
II. COMMITMENT TO FURTHERANCE OF THE STATEMENT OF GOALS
EACH SIGNATORY HEREBY COMMITS TO PERFORMING EACH OF THE FOLLOWING:
Appointment of Diversity Liaison. Signatories shall cause at least one attorney at its organization to serve as “Diversity Liaison.” The Diversity Liaison will be responsible for communicating with the Association about (and keep records with respect to) the organization’s efforts to solve issues that have an adverse impact on the recruitment, retention, and promotion of attorneys from Underrepresented Groups. The Diversity Liaison will be expected to semi-annual updates to the Association regarding such efforts, and shall set-aside time discuss strategic initiatives with the representatives from the Association from time to time.
Furtherance of Diversity Principles and Best Practices. Signatories shall communicate the importance that their organization places on diversity by circulating this Statement of Goals and Principles, including the Best Practices, throughout their organization. Signatories shall encourage and empower attorneys to organize and participate in events, activities, and programs that are consistent with the Statement of Goals and Principles.
Commitment to Best Practices. Signatories shall commit to performing, through thoughtful discussion, implementation, and maintenance, at least three of the items referenced on the list of Best Practices. To the extent that Signatories are already committed to performing any of their selected Best Practices, Signatories shall further commit to continue performance and to evaluate the effectiveness of such Best Practices.
III. RECOGNITION OF COMMITMENTS
The Association shall recognize all active Signatories on its website and specially recognize all Signatories since 2005 on its website or at an Association event approximately every five years to honor signatories. The Statement of Goals and Principles and Best Practices will be posted on the Association’s website and will be shared among various organizations that employ attorneys.