The Commission on Professionalism’s The Future Is Now: Legal Services conference is right around the corner. I’m excited to be moderating a town hall discussion with Haley Moss – an attorney, author, and neurodiversity advocate – to discuss how diversity, and specifically neurodiversity, comes into play in conversations about how attorneys are evolving their practices to deliver value to consumers.
Over the last few years, the legal profession has placed an increased emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Many law firms and legal organizations have implemented programming to recruit diverse talent and assist in the retention of that talent.
However, neurodiversity is often left out of the conversation. An estimated 1 in 7 people have neurodivergent traits, including those with autism, ADHD, mental health disabilities, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, or acquired brain differences.
Many of our colleagues, clients, and even ourselves identify as neurodivergent. And the legal profession must be accessible and inclusive of the ways they experience and interact with the world. Haley and I will explore this at The Future Is Now.
What is neurodiversity?
Neurodiversity refers to variations in the human brain and cognition, like sociability, learning, attention, mood, and other mental functions. It recognizes and embraces these neurological differences just as we would any other human variation, like race, gender, or sex. During Haley’s talk, she will help us better define and understand neurodiversity through her lens.
Haley was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. Doctors told her parents that she would never finish high school let alone graduate from law school and pass the bar exam. But she did and didn’t stop there.
Haley has gone on to become a phenomenal public speaker (which we will soon be privy to ourselves), a published author, and a strong advocate for people who identify as neurodiverse.
Why is this important?
No two brains are the same. As I mentioned previously, an estimated 1 in 7 people has neurodivergent traits. That means our population experiences and interacts with the world in many different ways, and there is no one right way of learning or behaving.
In a profession where our main charge is to serve, it’s important to understand how we can add unique value for all through these acts of service. How can we build accessibility into our offerings and advocate for those who fall outside the “cognitive norm,” including our clients, colleagues, and even ourselves?
In her talk, Haley will not only share her perspective on the value of neurodiversity and why it’s often left out of conversations about diversity, but will also provide strategies for being a strong advocate and ally for neurodivergent colleagues and clients.
Attend The Future Is Now
The Future Is Now will focus on delivering value for today’s legal consumer through a series of TED-like talks and town hall discussions on topics like defining and measuring value, embracing diverse perspectives, and examples of ways attorneys are evolving their practices to deliver value.
We hope that you will join us on Thursday, April 21, to reflect on where your practice is headed and to better define the value of the services you provide.
Registration is open but time is running out. Don’t wait, register today.
Attendees are eligible to receive 4.0 hours of professional responsibility CLE credit in Illinois (3.0 hours of professional responsibility CLE and 1.0 hour of diversity and inclusion CLE).
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