Who gets the benefit of the doubt? Too often it has been those who look or act like those in power. This is an unproductive paradigm that we cannot afford to hold up in the legal profession any longer.
The Lawyers Coming Up Don’t “Look” Like those at the Top
Within the United States, Caucasians are projected to become a minority within a generation, by 2044. Yet according to the 2017 National Association for Law Placement Report on Diversity, minorities account for 8.4% of partners in the nation’s major firms. Women account for 22.7%.
What this means in terms of the imperative to retain diverse talent will be addressed at the Future is Now: Legal Services 2.018 conference on May 2 in Chicago.
One speaker shedding light on the situation will be Jane DiRenzo Pigott, a trailblazer in the legal profession. After retiring from Winston & Strawn, where she was the first female on both the Executive and Compensation Committees, Jane founded her own organization devoted to change leadership and diversity and inclusion initiatives. She brings her expertise to The Future is Now: Legal Services 2.018. Jane will explain the steps necessary to lay out a different line for behavior that is a predicate to retaining diverse lawyers in the legal profession.
Jane will inspire both majority and minority lawyers to push past what is comfortable. Increasing access for women and under-represented minorities within our legal and judicial institutions is a professional imperative.
Lawyers Coming Up Must Lead
Assumptions and biases hurt. Toussaint Romain says, “no more.” You may have seen Toussaint on T.V. after Keith Scott was fatally shot by a police officer in September 2016 in Charlotte N.C. He calmly walked between protesters and tear gas wielding police officers, pleading for calm.
Toussaint, formerly a Public Defender is now a candidate for District Attorney in Mecklenburg County, N.C. Noting that race plays a role in the crimes, who gets prosecuted and who gets out, Romain seeks to reform the criminal justice system.
Romain is coming to Chicago to inspire lawyers to action. No matter what their practice area or professional avenue, Romain says each individual can make a difference. We should focus on the verb lead, rather than the noun, being a leader. He paints pictures with his words and provokes people to action. You won’t want to miss him speak.
If you haven’t already registered for the conference, do it today: