Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Summit

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2022 DEI Summit

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Summit
Friday, June 10, 2022

Register Here

Early Bird Registration ends on Friday, May 27th

The D.C. Bar Communities Office, and the D.C. Bar, have committed continued support to exploring and creating opportunities to increase diversity and address equity issues within the legal profession. In furtherance of this goal, the D.C Bar Communities are pleased to host the 2nd Annual Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Summit in what we hope will be an educational and informative day to explore these important topics. The theme for this year’s summit is Putting Best Intentions into Action and will aim to elevate awareness, encourage greater community engagement, as well as cause increased individual reflection.


9:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
Opening Remarks – Angela Montez, Chair, DEIA Summit Project Group

9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
The Ethics of Diversity and Inclusion – Charles Lemley

This is a presentation of the rules, regulations, and official efforts related to the ethical obligation of lawyers to advance diversity & inclusion. It includes a brief history of the profession's stance on the topic, how the Model Rules of Professional Conduct have changed in this regard, current rules and official bar activities in a variety of jurisdictions, a brief comparison with the rules for barristers and solicitors in the UK, and an overview of a proposed rule that would elevate D&I efforts to the level of a "soft" obligation similar to pro bono.

10:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Networking Break

11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Morning Breakout Session

  1. Putting It Into Action: Creating Successful Succession Plans Critical to the Success of Diverse Law – Regina Speed-Bost (Moderator); Ellen Ostrow Ph.D. PCC, CMC (Speaker); and TBD

    The nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is a real-time demonstration of the power and importance of inclusive succession plans. As a former clerk of Justice Stephen G. Breyer, Judge Jackson’s training helped to prepare her for the bench and, perhaps, to succeed her mentor and former boss. Law firms and legal departments should carefully consider whether and to what extent lawyers within their ranks are trained and prepared to succeed existing leadership. Growth, development, and training, with an eye toward career advancement, is important to the success of any lawyer but is critical to the success of diverse lawyers. For this reason, law firms and legal departments should also carefully consider the extent to which existing leaders are intentionally considering diverse lawyers as they train and develop diverse lawyers, and especially with regard to in the development of succession plans. This panel will explore the challenges presented by existing training and career development programs, including existing succession practices, explain the benefits of successful diversity conscious training, career development and succession planning, and provide perspective from two panelists that will share their personal success stories.
  2. Equity and Inclusion in the Courtroom – Yaida Ford, Esq.; Karen Aileen Howze (Retired Judge)

    Cultural humility and access to justice: ensuring voice, dignity and respect, understanding and neutrality. Attorneys and judges evaluate the ways to ensure effective examination of culture, bias and privilege to create a more inclusive justice system. this interactive program will provide attorneys and other participants with the opportunity to engage in creating new approaches to access to justice.

12:15 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Lunch Presentation - D.C. Bar Communities DEIA Initiative

12:45 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Networking Break

1:15 – 2:15 p.m.
Afternoon Breakout Session

  1. DEI and the Future of Work – Linda Chanow (Moderator), Jim Sandman, Izu Emeagwali, Esther Lim, Laith Abu-Taleb

    The Future of Work is here. The pandemic ushered in a paradigm shift in how we think of the workplace and how we manage the workforce. The workforce is increasingly diverse and spans across as many as five generations. Work processes are existentially reliant on technology and ever more distributed. As traditional norms of work are disrupted and replaced by ever-shifting new norms, law firms and other legal organizations must effectively manage diverse talent, values, and workstyles. This panel will explore strategies and insights for putting best intentions into action to address challenges that women and attorneys of color confront as law firms and other legal organizations rapidly accept remote work, distributed teams, and new technology.
  2. Utilizing Holistic Climate Assessments in Law Firms to Improve Workplace Culture – Ellen Eardley, Doris Quintanilla, and Ahmmad Brown

    There's a lot of conversation about DEI workplace assessments these days, but not enough clarity about how, when, and why to use these tools. 2020 forced a broad and overdue reckoning with how deeply racial inequity runs in many institutions, workplaces, and communities. Many law firms and legal non-profits have responded with statements and pledges both symbolic and substantive. As they work to make good on those commitments, conducting evaluations and using assessment tools can provide meaningful accountability -- or can be a superficial exercise. In this session, learn more about these tools, how these assessments can be used by law firms and legal organizations, and what are the challenges and opportunities we have encountered working to evaluate equity and inclusion through holistic culture and climate assessments.

2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Fireside Chat with Dr. Amber Hewitt, Chief Equity Officer, Office of Racial Equity, District of Columbia Office of the City Administrator

3:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Closing Remarks

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