California Lawyers Association

Diverse Lawyer Video Project Aims to Inspire New Lawyers

The CLA’s Diversity Outreach Advisory Committee (DOC) is preparing to launch a video project to capture pathways of diverse attorneys into their practice. The videos will feature diverse law practitioners, judges, and possibly law students across the state of California. The goal of this project is to inspire diverse youth to become legal professionals themselves.

Participating speakers will be provided a brief script with four or five questions to answer along with some general and technical instruction. Each video is intended to be short, about five minutes or so, and will be recorded using ubiquitous tools like smartphones and/or Zoom by the speaker, resulting in a “self-interview.” The recordings will then be edited by CLA staff and made available on CLA’s YouTube channel. These finished videos can be used for various CLA and Section diversity, outreach, and civic engagement efforts!

The Criminal Law Section is pursuing a diverse lawyer video project as well. Their videos will specifically highlight diverse criminal law practitioners and judges. Here is a sample of the questions the Criminal Law Section has prepared for their participating speakers:

  • Who are you? A brief biography focusing on who you are and your diversity profile
  • What’s your why? Why did you become a lawyer and were there any obstacles you had to overcome (e.g., did you already know any lawyers?)
  • What fueled or inspired you to become a prosecutor or defense lawyer? (e.g., social Justice, desire to make the world a safer place, desire to make a difference)
  • How has the combination of your diverse background and experience positively contributed to your practice? What did this lead to?

It is a known fact that the impressive diversity of California’s population is not accurately represented within the legal profession – see the State Bar of California’s Report Card on the Diversity of California’s Legal Profession. Representation is important, particularly to our youth, because it can impact how they view themselves and the opportunities available to them. We hope that sharing the stories of diverse practitioners will empower diverse youth. By contributing to this project, you can play an active role in shifting society’s perception of legal practitioners and inspiring students to pursue a path to civic engagement.

If you are interested in learning more about the diverse lawyer video project or participating as a speaker, please reach out to Lauren Elledge, CLA Initiatives Coordinator.

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