California Lawyers Association

New Report Recaps CLA Diversity Meeting

Earlier this year, CLA held its first diversity stakeholders meeting, convening policy experts, program providers, bar association leaders, judges and law school representatives. Last month CLA published a report on the meeting, which was designed to bring attention to all the work being done in the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and pathway-to-law space in California. 

Participants discussed how to avoid duplicating efforts; they also identified challenges and opportunities to collaborate. A survey of invitees found that the most popular types of programs were:

  • Mentoring and networking (66%)
  • Pathway or outreach (61%)
  • Judicial diversity (36%)
  • Diversity scholarship (27%)
  • Diversity Fellowship (20%)

Judicial clerkships, bar exam preparation and LSAT preparation were less common. Other efforts included DEI-focused committees, DEI-focused continuing legal education for attorneys and diversity internships/externships.

The survey found that most programs focused on law students (69%) or new lawyers with less than three years of experience (51%). A small number of programs are concentrating on students in K-12 or college. Only a few focus on college graduates who have not yet been admitted to law school.

Participants at the February meeting included representatives from the Association of African American California Judicial Officers, Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom, California ChangeLawyers, California Judges Association, CLA, California Lawyers Foundation, California Minority Counsel Program, California Women Lawyers, CaliforniaLAW Inc., Council on Legal Education Opportunity, Latina Lawyers Bar Association, Legal Aid Association of California, Legal Education Access Pipeline, LGBT Judicial Officers of California, Los Angeles County Bar Association, McGeorge School of Law, SacLegal, San Diego County Bar Association, the Judicial Council of California, the State Bar of California’s Council on Access and Fairness, University of California Irvine and University of California Los Angeles. 

Read the full report.

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