Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law

Competition: Fall 2019, Vol 29, No. 2


Lee F. Berger1
U.S. Department of Justice
Washington, DC

At this year’s Annual Meeting, the Antitrust, UCL and Privacy Section adopted its first Diversity and Inclusion Policy and Initiative ("Diversity Initiative"). One of the Section’s purposes is to "develop professionalism among and advancement for members of the Section." Antitrust, UCL and Privacy Section Administrative Bylaws § II(c). Increasing the diversity in our Section is one way for us to meet this goal, both for the particular members of our Section and for our practices. In the areas of antitrust, UCL and privacy, courts, clients, and consumers benefit when the perspectives, arguments, and issues reflect the diversity of California’s lawyers and consumers. Diversity leads to innovation. It helps our practices look and think more like the rest of California. A diverse and more inclusive legal profession makes for a stronger, more professional practice.

The Section’s goals in establishing the Diversity Initiative are to increase the diversity of the Section’s membership, the diversity in the Section’s leadership and Executive Committee, the participation and visibility of diverse lawyers in Section activities, and the flow of diverse lawyers into the antitrust, UCL and privacy areas, in both private practice and government. The Diversity Initiative defines diversity to refer to race, color, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, first generation professional, and veteran status.

The Diversity Initiative looks to six ways for the Section to meet these goals. First, the Section will seek to develop strategic partnerships with organizations that promote diversity, including minority or affinity bar associations. Second, the Section will ensure that all members have an opportunity to be considered for leadership roles, by adopting a goal of having at least 30% of its candidate pool for any leadership or governance position be comprised of diverse Section members. This 30% goal is consistent with similar policies that other professional and corporate organizations have adopted.

Third, the Section will actively create high-profile opportunities for diverse lawyers, including in its decisions regarding selection of panel speakers and articles for publication. Fourth, the Section will encourage the flow of diverse law students in the Section by working with law schools to expose diverse law students to the Section and its practice areas. Fifth, the Section will incorporate a diversity component into its Mentorship Program.

Finally, the Diversity Initiative establishes the Vice Chair for Diversity, a new Executive Committee position. The Vice Chair for Diversity will have the responsibility for strategic planning, developing programs and activities, and establishing other efforts to support the Section’s diversity goals. The Vice Chair for Diversity will plan at least one diversity focused event a year, be in charge of reviewing the Executive Committee’s various selection processes to ensure compliance with the Section’s Diversity Initiative goals, travel to local schools to meet with diversity affinity groups, and report to the Section’s Executive Committee on progress under the Diversity Initiative. Additionally, the Vice Chair for Diversity will conduct an annual review of the Diversity Initiative to evaluate the success of the programs, identify areas for improvement, develop methods and strategies to collect relevant data, and assess new and existing policies to implement in furtherance of the Section’s diversity goals. Abiel Garcia of Gibson Dunn LLP will serve as our inaugural Vice Chair for Diversity.

Much credit is due to the primary author and proponent of the Diversity Initiative, the Section’s Vice Chair for Privacy Publications Lori Chang of Greenberg Traurig LLP, along with Advisors Lawrence Wu of NERA and Geoff Holtz of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, and Abiel Garcia. Their dedication, extensive outreach, and research resulted in a robust Diversity Initiative about which we can all be proud. I look forward to seeing each element of the Diversity Initiative being implemented this year.



1. Any views expressed in this column by Mr. Berger are his own and not those of the United States Department of Justice.

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