AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION
Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession
Informational Report to the House of Delegates
Minority Membership and Bar Association Outreach
The Commission was pleased to be invited to address both the Hispanic National Bar
Association in San Francisco in September and the National Asian Pacific American Bar
Association in Philadelphia in November. We took these opportunities to educate the minority
lawyers in attendance about the work of the Commission and the ABA and to promote the
benefits of ABA membership. The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association has asked
us to develop a program specifically addressing how their members can become more involved
in the ABA to present at its 2007 national convention.
The Commission also hosted its annual luncheon for minority bar leaders in conjunction with the
Midyear Meeting. The luncheon provides an opportunity for the members of the Commission to
meet local minority bar leaders and learn about their issues and projects.
Joint Exhibit Project
The Joint Exhibit Project, through which participating ABA entities can promote their activities
to attendees at the four national minority bar conventions, was presented at the Hispanic National
Bar Association and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association conventions.
Participating entities are given the opportunity to staff the exhibit at each minority bar
convention. The next presentation of the exhibit will be in April at the National Native American
Bar Association Convention in Albuquerque.
Minority Counsel Program
The Commission presented a very successful fall Minority Counsel Program meeting in Chicago
on September 7-8, 2006. Attendance increased from last year, with a record number (50) of
corporate counsel participating. Among the General Counsel who attended were Thomas A.
Mars from Wal-Mart; D. Cameron Findlay from Aon Corporation; Arthur Chong from Safeco;
Kelley Tullier from Frito-Lay, and Louise Parent from American Express. The Commission has
instituted a new format for the meeting, offering substantive CLE breakout sessions that allow
the participating lawyers an opportunity to spend time with in-house lawyers who work in their
particular area of practice. This format has garnered very positive reviews on the attendees’
The spring Minority Counsel Program meeting will be held April 12-13, 2007 in Stamford,
Goal IX Newsletter
The Commission has published the fall issue of the Goal IX Newsletter and the winter issue is in
production. The hard copy version of the newsletter continues to garner very favorable response.
Goal IX Report
The Commission is releasing the 2006-2007 Goal IX Report in conjunction with the Midyear
Meeting. The new data collection method we implemented using Excel seems to have worked
The first videotape, an interview with ABA Medal recipient Hon. George N. Leighton has been
completed and the next two, featuring Mario Obledo, the founder of the Mexican American
Legal Defense and Education Fund, and Hon. Cruz Reynoso, the first Hispanic to serve on the
Supreme Court of California, are in production.
Spirit of Excellence Awards
The 2007 Spirit of Excellence Award were held on February 10, 2007. The 2007 honorees are:
Paulette Brown -- Partner, Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge, LLP and past president
National Bar Association, Short Hills, NJ
William T. Coleman, Jr. -- Senior Partner and The Senior Counselor, O'Melveny &
Myers LLP; Former United States Secretary of Transportation; Presidential Medal of
Freedom recipient, Washington, District of Columbia
Hon. Joseph W. Hatchett -- Former Chief Judge United States Court of Appeals for the
Eleventh Circuit and Shareholder and Chair of the Appellate Practice Group, Akerman
Senterfitt, Tallahassee, FL
Arturo L. Jaramillo -- Former President State Bar of New Mexico and Cabinet Secretary
New Mexico General Services Department, Santa Fe, NM
Paul W. Lee – Partner, Goodwin Procter, LLP and former president, National Asian
Pacific American Bar Association, Boston, MA
Hon. William S. Richardson -- founder of the University of Hawaii School of Law,
Thomas A. Mars -- General Counsel of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Bentonville, AR
The Commission continues to be actively engaged in providing diversity consulting
services and in facilitating collaborative efforts between the ABA and law firms,
corporate law departments, law schools, and other bar associations. Since our last
informational report, this has included:
Internal ABA Entities
Business Law – Provided direction and background on ABA diversity policies.
General Practice, Solo and Small Firms – Wrote an article about diversity for solo
practitioners and small firm lawyers for the Division magazine.
Office of the Executive Director – Helped provide data for a law review article
authored by Robert Stein.
Judicial Division – Provided the Division with contacts for minority-owned law firms
in California to whom it could market an upcoming program. Provided background
and briefing for the Chair in preparation for remarks at the Hispanic National Bar
Justice Center – Helped Judicial Independence Initiatives identify and secure minority
lay people with familiarity in judicial independence issues to be interviewed and
participate in a documentary film.
Labor and Employment Law – Helped clarify a request for information made by a
Litigation – Provided recommendations on legal academics with an expertise on the
role of race in litigation proceedings.
Center for Professional Responsibility – Solicited diverse nominations for the
Michael Franck Award.
Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section – Spoke at the Section’s new Leadership
Academy and provided post-meeting assessments on diversity impact.
SOC – Provided names of minorities in officer tracks in ABA Sections, Divisions and
Forums for consideration as the SOC Diversity Committee Chair.
Bar Associations –
Black Women Lawyers Association – Provided information for upcoming
program on glass ceiling issues for minority women lawyers.
Georgia State Bar Association – Spoke as the annual diversity conference in
Hispanic National Bar Association – Provided written remarks of Commission
Chair for publication.
Illinois State Bar Association – Spoke at the Midyear Meeting on effective
diversity strategies. Provided recommendations for diverse speakers for future
Law Society of England and Wales – Provided information and contacts on
handling disciplinary proceedings in the U.S. that are related to minority lawyers.
National Association of Bar Executives – Provided available information on
diversity among legislative counsel, lobbyists, and governmental affairs attorneys
for bar associations.
Multnomah County Bar Association – Provided guidance and background
information on diversity programs suited to local bar association diversity
Oklahoma State Bar Association – Provided diversity data and statistics for the
bar’s annual diversity forum.
Oregon State Bar Association – Spoke at the bar’s annual diversity conference.
Wisconsin State Bar Association – Provided background information pertaining
to minority-specific internships.
Community-Based Organizations – Helped YMCA of the USA disseminate a job
posting for its General Counsel.
Government Agencies – Provided the Attorney General of Louisiana information on
diversity trends across the U.S. Helped the City of Chicago Corporation Counsel’s
Office refine and publicize its diversity recruiting efforts. Provided the California
Public Information Office with research related to efforts to diversify the judiciary.
Law Firms – Provided a Portland firm with guidance on developing and
implementing a vendor diversity policy.
Law Schools – Helped the University of Memphis School of Law expand a search for
faculty to include greater diversity.
Kay H. Hodge,