Denver Bar Association
April 2012
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From the President New and Exciting Directions for Diversity

by Ilene Lin Bloom

Ilene Bloom, DBA President

 

I


recently had the wonderful opportunity to appoint two new chairs to the Diversity in the Legal Profession, or DILP, Committee: Tracy Davis and Laura Hazen. I am excited to announce that DILP is embarking on several new projects. The committee is looking for new members from across the state to work not only on its existing projects but to also be part of these exciting new endeavors.

The History of DILP

The Denver and Colorado Bar Associations jointly sponsor this committee, whose mission is to break down the longstanding barriers that have prevented diverse attorneys from succeeding in the legal profession. For many years, DILP has sponsored the highly successful DILP Diversity Awards, which honor one attorney and one firm or corporate legal department that are leaders in diversity and inclusion. DILP members also have been mentors for 1L students and have participated in the Cherry Creek Diversity Conference, presenting a workshop for high school students from around the state.

DILP also is proud to continue its sponsorship of the Center for Legal Inclusiveness Annual Legal Inclusiveness & Diversity Summit. This year’s summit, on May 7 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown, marks the event’s sixth year. Distinguished speakers and national experts will present more than 30 workshops related to diversity and inclusiveness. On the following day, CLI will present the Inclusiveness Institute, a separate one-day intensive training on the fundamentals of inclusiveness. For more information, visit centerforlegalinclusiveness.org.


Exciting New DILP Endeavors 

First, DILP is adding to its existing “pipeline” work and is looking for volunteers interested in working with high school and college students. The so-called pipeline is the path from high school or college to law school and on to legal employment. The goal of pipeline projects, including DILP’s ongoing mentoring and workshop activities, is to help diverse youth find a path to law school and a legal career, and to assist them as they travel on that path.

One new project includes sponsorship and administrative oversight for the Dream Teams. Dream Teams are small groups of law students and legal professionals who volunteer with community projects, such as presenting workshops and doing public presentations, to encourage more diverse youths to consider law as a career. More than 75 attorneys, law students, and legal professionals have joined five teams anchored by federal and state judges. If you are interested in joining a Dream Team or learning more about the project, contact Davis at tdavis@bbhlegal.com or (303) 290-6600 or Hazen at lhazen@irelandstapleton.com or (303) 623-2700.

DILP also plans to expand its programming to serve smaller firms and the areas outside Denver. If you are outside Denver or are at a small firm and are interested in participating in diversity trainings or learning more about diversity issues, please contact Davis or Hazen.

Finally, DILP is looking for a new name! DILP’s most important role is as a connector—bringing interested attorneys together with ongoing or discrete volunteer opportunities. It serves as a resource for bar association members statewide, as well as specialty bar associations, law schools, and others. If you have any ideas for a new name for DILP, please send them to Andrea Mueller Arias at amuellerarias@cobar.org.

Please join DILP! The committee meets at 4 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month at the DBA’s offices, 1900 Grant St., and welcomes new committee members and people interested in volunteering or simply learning more about DILP’s work. Please contact Mueller Arias if you would like to be added to the list of those receiving meeting information.

I would like to thank the new DILP chairs for their assistance with this article and wish them good luck as they help expand the work of the DILP committee. D


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