CLI in the News/Media

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  • 24 Apr 2019 2:56 PM | Anonymous

    The Retention Committee unveiled a new series, Champions’ Roundtable.  At the Roundtable, attorneys who champion diversity in their organization will discuss D/I issues, and create solutions and action plans for these issues.

    The first in this series was “Beyond the Numbers,” a program facilitated by Naomi Baez Amos, assistant general counsel with Molson Coors Brewing Company and Maritza Dominguez Braswell, deputy attorney general with Colorado Attorney General's Office.  Beyond the Numbers was held at Ballard Spahr’s Denver office on Wednesday, April 17th. 

    With the 17 attending in-house counsel and law firm attorneys, the two led discussions on belonging, empowerment and combatting biases.   A practical takeaway shared was the “Diversity College.”   One firm’s client volunteered to tutor young diverse attorneys on issues related to their industry, to increase their knowledge and interest (and ultimately their book of business).  This innovative program will help address the concern of not having enough diverse attorneys who have the knowledge to work for clients in a particular industry.

    Baez Amos and Dominguez Braswell will follow up with a second program, where they will discuss the ABA Model Diversity Survey and explore ways to provide additional data, narratives and context.  If you are a Diversity Champion and would like to receive information about upcoming programming, please contact Abe Kaul (303.313.6860;

    Karen H Hester, JD, LLM in Taxation
    Chief Executive Officer
    Center for Legal Inclusiveness

  • 24 Apr 2019 2:48 PM | Anonymous

    Client teams: an innovative approach to reducing unconscious bias and differentiating through difference, by Kelly M. Brown

    Client teams can serve as an innovative approach for bringing together a broad mix of people across a firm in ways that reduce unconscious bias and leverage diversity as part of a business differentiation strategy to deepen client relationships and grow business.

    This article focuses on how law firms can use diversity and inclusion as part of a business differentiation strategy that drives revenue and profitability. It covers four key areas. First, it explores an emerging opportunity for law firms to use diversity and inclusion as part of a business differentiation strategy. Second, it looks at the challenge unconscious bias can pose to pursuing such a strategy. Third, it examines approaches to mitigating unconscious bias that focus on building effective interactions among people across differences (intergroup contact). Fourth, it illustrates how to apply intergroup contact within the context of building diverse client teams. The client team structure is used as a practical example for how to design effective interactions across differences to reduce unconscious bias. The client team structure is also used as a practical way to illustrate how diversity can be used as part of a business differentiation strategy to deepen client relationships and grow business.

    ‘Client teams: an innovative approach to reducing unconscious bias and differentiating through difference’ by Kelly M. Brown is taken from the seventh issue of the new Modern Legal Practice, published by Globe Law and Business,

    Modern_Legal_Practice_Journal_Seventh_ed _ Kelly_M_ Brown.pdf

  • 15 Apr 2019 2:22 PM | Anonymous

    We are excited to welcome morning keynote speaker Adis Vila to our Summit on July 29th. Vila is accomplished in many areas and has been a thought-provoking speaker when it comes to inclusion in the workplace. It is vital that we understand how inclusiveness impacts and benefits at all levels. While the topic is one we are all likely familiar, it deserves a second look. All members of an organization should embrace and promote inclusiveness in the workplace, and not just for the health of the organization, but for each individual's well-being.

    We all expect policy to be invented and adopted from the top down. But we should also expect complete and informed buy-in from leadership as we increase inclusiveness across the board. This is not just a matter-of-fact policy but a new way of thinking that can impact business in real ways.

    Once management understands the need for a diverse workforce, we move on to agreement from the entire team. This is at least one place where the workforce may be ahead of leadership. Many studies have shown that a majority of employees think their company should be more diverse. Moreover, they believe their company isn't doing enough to promote diversity and inclusion. It is vital that all levels of employees have empathy and take ownership of this part of the process. If there is a gap in acceptance, the ripple effect of this could be significant.

    Still, countless studies cite the conscious and unconscious bias of hiring managers. Counteracting this preconception is not a quick fix but rather a deliberate process. Vila shares her research and perspective with corporations, boards, and even the military, and offers candid insight for building a diverse team right from the start. Vila addresses how leadership should be prepared to explain how diversity and inclusiveness can drive innovation, enhance human capital performance, lower employee turnover, support the firm’s competitive advantage, and enhance the firm’s ability to execute on its strategic vision.

    At CLI, we believe inclusiveness is about creating a culture where everyone has a voice and where differences are celebrated to achieve shared success. And not just in the legal profession; any business can be strengthened by a diverse and inclusive workplace. Please join us on July 29th as we explore this topic further.

    About this speaker:

    A member of The Florida Bar and the Washington DC Bar, Adis Vila earned a law degree from the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida, a Diplôme in International Law from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Geneva, Switzerland), an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and a BA in Mathematics from Rollins College.

    Vila was named one of Hispanic Executive's Leading Latinas in 2018. She was honored with the "Woman Trailblazer" Award, Dorothy Height "Hats Off to You" Award, and "Women of Distinction" Award by The University of Akron, Girl Scouts of Colorado, and Delta Sigma Theta, respectively. Her work at the Air Force Academy was recognized with the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, the "Dare to Dream Award" by the Colorado Springs Diversity Forum, and an INNOVATION Award by The Diversity Journal.

    Learn more about Adis Vila by clicking here

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