Category Archives: Elimination of Bias

Sexual Harassment Awareness and Prevention for Lawyers


There are various reasons to prevent sexual harassment in the legal workplace. It’s not just the right thing to do – sexual harassment is unethical and illegal. With a little knowledge you can avoid costly and damaging lawsuits and financial cost to your firm and yourself. Further, promoting a healthy legal workplace that is free of discrimination maintains good workplace morale and enhances your law firm’s reputation.

Being aware and preventing sexual harassment in the legal workplace can help you to avoid discipline and to keep your job.

To learn more about creating a legal and healthy work environment please join attorney Alisa Shorago as she provides a practical and lively discussion on sexual harassment awareness and prevention for attorneys. Mrs. Shorago will discuss reasons to prevent sexual harassment, define sexual harassment under the law, identify examples of sexual harassment, discuss some of the ethical rules regarding sexual conduct/relationships, discuss ways of preventing harassment in the legal workplace including anti-harassment policies and help to determine the boundaries of appropriate behavior. To access the course click here: Sexual Harassment Awareness and Prevention for Lawyers.

Further topics addressed in this CLE course include:

  • State & federal harassment laws
  • The definition of workplace harassment
  • Theories of harassment
  • Attorneys behaving badly
  • Organizational liability
  • Prompt & effective action
  • Remedies, specific rules for attorneys
  • Sexual relations with clients
  • Governing behavior in the legal system
  • How to prevent & deal with harassment
  • Key aspects of an anti-harassment policy
  • “Staying in the Green”
  • Appropriate workplace behavior and further guidelines

Alisa Shorago is an accomplished trainer, providing seminars in legal writing, business writing, workplace professionalism and sexual harassment prevention. She has also practiced law for over 15 years with a focus on litigation and has clerked for state appellate and federal trial courts. In addition, she is a legal writing columnist for the San Diego County Bar Association, as well as a past board member of California Women Lawyers, Lawyers Club of San Diego and the San Diego chapter of the American Society for Training and Development.

This CLE course on the legal and tax implications of cause marketing is currently accredited in the following states:

  • Alaska (AK)
  • Arizona (AZ)
  • California (CA) — Elimination of Bias credit
  • Connecticut (CT)
  • District of Columbia (DC)
  • Illinois (IL)
  • Maryland (MD)
  • Massachusetts (MA)
  • Michigan (MI)
  • New Jersey (NJ)
  • New York (NY)
  • Pennsylvania (PA)
  • South Dakota (SD)

Attorney Credits offers continuing legal education (CLE) for attorneys in California and around the country.  This course on Sexual Discrimination qualifies for Elimination of Bias credit in California.  For more information about CLE in California please click the following link: CA CLE.

Tagged , , , ,

Discriminatory Client Preferences and the Practice of Law

While managing or operating a law practice attorneys must not unlawfully discriminate or knowingly permit unlawful discrimination on the basis of sex, race, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or disability during the course of employment or while accepting or terminating representation of a client. But what if it is the client that is asking you to act in a discriminatory manner? Do you have to honor your duty to zealously defend your client or are you bound by your ethical duties as an attorney?


Join attorney Dan Eaton as he provides excellent analysis and feedback on this tricky subject and further explores discriminatory client preferences and the practice of law.  The main topics addressed in this presentation include an attorney’s ethical duties, conditions of representation, withdrawal and employment laws.  Mr. Eaton also discusses case law in this area and provides hypothetical situations based off existing case law regarding discriminatory client and business preferences.  To access the course please click here: Discriminatory Client Preferences and the Practice of Law.

California Rule 2-400 Prohibited Discriminatory Conduct in a Law Practice.

(B) In the management or operation of a law practice, a member shall not unlawfully discriminate or knowingly permit unlawful discrimination on the basis of race , national origin, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age or disability in:

(1) hiring, promoting, discharging, or otherwise determining the conditions of employment of any person; or

(2) accepting or terminating representation of any client.

Daniel E. Eaton is a shareholder with Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek in the Litigation Department and practices employment law.  Mr. Eaton received his B.S. from Georgetown University in 1984 and received his law degree, cum laude, from the Harvard Law School in 1989.  Prior to joining Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek, Mr. Eaton was with Proskauer Rose in Los Angeles from 1995 to 1998 and with Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich from 1989 to 1995. He was an Adjunct Professor of Law at Western State College of Law in 1993. He also has taught employment law at the University of California, San Diego, and both human resources law and business ethics at San Diego State University. From 1983 to 1986, Mr. Eaton served as an aide to Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senator Arlen Specter.

This CLE course on handling media attention is currently accredited in the following states:

  • California (CA) – 1.0 Credit Hours Elimination of Bias
  • New Jersey (NJ) – 1.0 Credit Hours Legal Ethics
  • New York (NY) – 1.0 Credit Hours Legal Ethics

Attorney Credits offers continuing legal education (CLE) for attorneys in New York and around the country.  For more information about CLE in New York  please click the following link: New York CLE.

Tagged , , , ,

The Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession


The Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession is a required course in California.  California is one of the few states with a mandatory bias and discrimination MCLE requirement.  In many other states, courses dealing with bias and discrimination in the legal system qualify for legal ethics credit.

Instead of lawyers in firms arguing about whether there is in fact anything “wrong” at their firm that needs correcting, they now discuss how improving their representation of women and minorities may enhance their business. That debate is usually a far less controversial one since, not surprisingly, it is easier for lawyers to reach a consensus about activities aimed at enhancing revenue and profits as opposed to achieving social justice.[1]

While the main rationale used to justify and advance diversity in law firms used to be moral, now it’s the bottom line that is driving the push.  Because of an expanded client base, it now makes economic sense to promote diversity within your firm.  Further, some Fortune 500 companies have demanded that the law firms they employ become more diverse – and they have fired them when they didn’t comply.[2]

While this may be a required course for some, many attorneys and people inside the legal profession view it as an important topic.  Attorney Credits has worked with a number of excellent practitioners to produce insightful CLE courses on this topic.  We are proud of our wide selection of bias and discrimination courses that we offer attorneys around the country.

  • Bias & Discrimination in the Legal Profession – What Can Be Done?
  • Eliminating Biases You Never Knew You Had
  • Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession
  • Elimination of Bias in the Legal System
  • The Elimination of Bias & Promotion of Diversity in the Legal Profession

To view Attorney Credits’ selection of course dealing with bias, discrimination, diversity and inclusion please click here.

[1] Diversity Makes Cents

[2] Under Pressure: Corporate demands for minority hiring have law firms paying attention but will fundamental changes occur?


Tagged , , , ,

California CLE Courses: Ethics, Bias & Substance Abuse

If you have an impending CLE deadline in California and you need to pick up specialty courses, we have the ethics, substance abuse and elimination of bias courses that you need.  At Attorney Credits CLE, we have been hard at work this year and we have made an extra push to film numerous legal ethics, substance abuse and elimination of bias courses so that our attorney clients in California have a wide selection of specialty CLE courses to choose from.

Legal Ethics:

Substance Abuse:

Elimination of Bias:

California (CA) attorneys need to complete a minimum of 4 credit hours of legal ethics, 1 credit hour of substance abuse and 1 credit hour of elimination of bias each three year compliance period. California attorneys who are in Group 1 have until January 31 to complete the required 25 credit hours and must report compliance by February 1.
If you need further information about MCLE in California, please click the links below:

Bias & Discrimination in the Legal Profession

Every state with a MCLE requirement also has a ‘specialty’ credit requirement.  For example, California attorneys must take 6 specialty credit hours every compliance period – 4 hours of legal ethics, 1 hour of substance abuse and 1 hour of elimination of bias.  Attorneys in Illinois must take 6 hours of Professional Responsibility every two years – which also includes courses in substance abuse and elimination of bias.  And in New York, attorneys must complete 4 credit hours of legal ethics each two-year compliance period.

If the State Bar is making you take certain courses, there must be a reason.  One reason that attorneys must take elimination of bias courses is because the legal profession is the least diverse out of all professions.  By taking a look at the chart below, you can see that the legal profession lags behind other professions when it comes to diversity.[1]

Not only is the legal profession the least diverse when it comes to race and ethnicity, but other groups also face significant disadvantages in the legal workplace.  Attorneys with disabilities, women and LGBT attorneys are also disproportionately represented and face disparate treatment on a daily basis.

Why is this? How do you identify the existence and impact of bias? What are the current laws? What are the strategies for responding to and eliminating bias?

If you are interested in learning more, we have just added a great new course by Laura Kalty on eliminating bias in the legal profession.  In the course, Ms. Kalty utilizes demographics and actual case examples to demonstrate the quantitative and qualitative disparities that protected classes face in the legal workplace. The main topics addressed in the course include the experience of bias, the impact of bias, tools for reducing bias, and further recommendations to create a more inclusive legal workplace.

Ms. Kalty also discusses the increased incidence & effect of bias in the legal profession, how to identify biased behavior, the Harvard Implicit Association Test, Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, employer liability, Rules of Court & Professional Conduct, the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct, cultural competence, creating a diverse workplace, workplace policies, marketplace pressure, inclusion, assessing your organization, remedies and further recommendations.

The course is entitled Elimination Bias in the Legal Profession, and it is accredited in a number of states, including California, New York, and Illinois.[2]

[1] Strategies for Eliminating Bias in the Legal Profession and Judiciary, State Bar of California Counsel on Access and Fairness

[2] The course is also accredited in Alaska (AK), Arizona (AZ), District of Columbia (DC), Maryland (MD), Massachusetts (MA), Michigan (MI), Nevada (NV), New Jersey (NJ), South Dakota (SD).

Bias … or Just Mistaken Identity?

Guest post by Myer Sankary

Foreword by Jason Castillo

We recently had the pleasure of working with attorney and mediator Myer Sankary to produce an incredibly excellent course on bias in the legal system.  In addition to being a full time mediator, Mr. Sankary has had the privilege of studying with renowned neuroscientists around the world on the subject of bias.

We videotaped Myer’s course a little over a month ago and we have already received a number of incredibly positive comments about the course.  Myer also had a viewer email him in regards to a case example he used to illustrate how bias plays out in the legal system.  The case example involved Ronald Cotton, an African American man who was wrongfully convicted of murder.  The viewer posed the following question:

Question: How is the Cotton case a study in BIAS, instead of mistaken identity?

I wanted to include Myer’s response for our readers who have viewed the course or anyone interested in the subject.  Myer’s response is very insightful and articulate, and I think it does a great job of framing and discussing the issues of bias in the legal system.  Below is Myer’s response:

You have posed an excellent question about the Ronald Cotton conviction.  Wasn’t it just a matter of “mistaken identity?”  Yes, indeed it was about mistaken identity.  The witness, Jennifer Thompson, made a dreadful mistake in identifying Cotton in the photo array, at the lineup, and then in court – at two separate trials.  After Cotton was in jail over 10 years (serving a life sentence for rape and robbery) it was conclusively proven by DNA tests that Cotton could not have been the person who raped Thompson How is this possible that an innocent man could be convicted in a North Carolina court and sent off to serve a life sentence?  What lessons can we learn from this case so it won’t happen again?

To begin my answer, it is important that you hear from the witness herself about how she came to become so confident that Cotton was the perpetrator.  You can see an interesting videotape of Jennifer and Ronald Cotton, along with the chief of police who investigated this case at the Innocence Project website:  You will hear how the photo identification was made and then how Thompson chose Cotton in the lineup.  There is also a very interesting comment from Cotton who graciously acknowledged that it was just a case of “mistaken identity!” 

It is my contention that none of the players in this drama were fully aware of how their biases influenced the outcome of Cotton’s double conviction. Advances in social psychology reveal how this case is a study in bias and not simply mistaken identity.  To support my contention I refer to two authoritative sources by a number of well respected social scientists.  The first is an insightful book by Tavris and Aronson, called “Mistakes Were Made (but not by me); Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions and Hurtful Acts,” (Harcourt 2007) Chapter 5 is called “Law and Disorder” and details how preconceived commitments (biases either express or implied) to the guilt of a defendant by witnesses, investigators, prosecutors, judges, juries and even some defense attorneys lead to the conviction of innocent defendants.  Another important resource is the work of a team of noted social scientists found at which I mentioned in my presentation.  Research has shown that people are unaware that there is a type of bias that the person in position of power does not even know influences their decision – this is known as “implicit bias” and is revealed by the implicit association test which has been administered to substantial numbers of persons online.  This means that if you were to ask the investigator, the prosecutor, the judge, the jury or the witness if they had any bias against Ronald Cotton because he was a young black man, they would all vehemently deny such a claim and would more likely be offended by anyone who might accuse them of such behavior.

In this case, Thompson the witness was sure that Cotton was the perpetrator. Her decision to select Cotton from the photo array was biased by the investigator and the process used.  They should have given her several arrays that did not include Cotton, the person the investigator suspected of the crime.  Instead, Thompson was given a limited number of photos to choose from, all black men, including Cotton. When she chose Cotton, the investigator confirmed that he thought Cotton was the guilty party.  When she picked him out of the lineup, again the investigator who conducted the photo selection, conducted the lineup, and confirmed that she picked the right man. When Thompson testified, she was confident that she had accurately identified the perpetrator (because of the encouragement of the investigator).  The investigator meanwhile was aware of the possibility of another perpetrator of similar appearance, but was now convinced that Cotton was the guilty party because Thompson was so sure.  The investigator  was unaware that he was the  reason the witness was so sure.  When the real perpetrator confessed to his cellmate that he committed the crime, and a second trial was ordered for Cotton, Thompson again was sure it was Cotton and not the real guilty perpetrator.  This is called confirmation bias. Once she made a decision that this was the perpetrator, the victim was not willing to consider any other person could be guilty. Our brain functions to compel us to find reasons to support our commitment to our first decision. particularly when the commitment is open, voluntary and public (her testimony at trial was a public commitment) – that Cotton was the perpetrator. 

The victim had several biases operating to identify the wrong perpetrator. (She is white, the perpetrator was black)   But more importantly, the bias of the investigating officers affected their handling of the photo array and the lineup.  Believing that they had the perpetrator, and unwilling to consider any other possibility, they skewed the information provided to the victim who was guided to select the person the investigators believed to be the perpetrator.  Bias of the investigators also led them to disbelieve Cotton’s confirmed alibis.  The prosecutor’s bias also came into play – accepting without critical review the conclusions of the investigators and the biased witness.  At the core of all this was the fact that Cotton was black and the victim was white, a higher than normal likelihood that he would be convicted in that jurisdiction at that time.  Bias contaminated the judicial process throughout – probably including the jury who were more likely to convict an innocent  black man in that county in North Carolina in the 1980’s than believe in the possibility of his innocence.  This is the important lesson from this case.  If we believe it was just a case of mistaken identity, we will not address the underlying reality of flaws in the judicial system. 

Bias occurs when we have a predisposition to the way things are in our set of experiences and values influenced by our environment. Here, the facts were a victim of the biases of those in charge of the system.  No one was willing to review the case objectively and to ask whether Cotton’s story could be true – they had formed their conclusion that he was guilty based on preconceived notions about the behavior of a young black man.  To compound everything, when the real perpetrator confessed to the crime and a second trial was held, the victim again because of bias would not accept the fact that someone else confessed to the crime, and she became more committed to her mistaken belief that Cotton was guilty and wanted to see him punished.  She was outraged that Cotton was trying to claim his innocence by pointing to someone else who confessed to the crime.  When you read the facts of the case and particularly the victim’s recantation after she was faced with the reality of DNA evidence that Cotton could not have been the perpetrator, and the DNA of the real perpetrator was confirmed, she had to realize that she should have done things differently.

Believing that this was just a case of  ”mistaken identity” is not a sufficent explanation for the results in this case. It is only a surface explanation which can be excused.  We will not learn about how such grievous wrongs are perpetrated if we do not realize that it is bias, expressed or implied, that influences those who were responsible for the legal system .  If the perpetrator were white, or if Cotton had no alibi, or if he had been seen in the area at that time by other reliable witnesses, one may excuse the conviction based on mistaken identity.  But mistaken identity in this case was a product of bias.  For more details and information about mistaken identity as a main cause of about 75% of wrongful convictions of innocent defendants, visit  

I hope this case stimulates thinking and discussion about how we can recognize and manage bias that affects all the participants in the legal system.  

– Myer Sankary


You can access Myer’s course — Elimination of Bias in the Legal System — by clicking here.

Eliminating Bias in the Legal System

By Jason Castillo, Director of Legal Education

What does eliminating bias from the legal system mean to you?  After attending a handful of Elimination of Bias lectures, I know that probably just the mention of eliminating bias probably makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

Is the elimination of bias just another required course that you are forced to take by your State Bar? Is it a course that you are forced to take to keep your law license?[1]  What thoughts or emotions are conjured up when you hear these words?

I would surmise that there is a large percentage of attorneys who feel that State Bars and the ABA have no business trying to eliminate bias and discrimination from the legal profession.  After all, we already have Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.[2]  Do we really need a CLE course on bias in the legal system?

“Elimination of bias is an important goal; requiring CLE courses to draw attention to the issues and help lawyers know how to eliminate bias is an appropriate method of pursing that goal. But what the disciplinary rules and cases applying them show is that actual harassment and discrimination will not be tolerated by the court in the practice of law, and that real disciplinary consequences will be imposed for direct violation of the anti harassment or antidiscrimination rules and/or for the effect such conduct has on the administration of justice.”[3]

The short answer is yes, you do.  Not only because it’s mandated in many states, but also because every person is biased to a certain extent.  And this bias factors into many aspects of the legal system – from the decisions to the attorneys that judges and lawyers make, to the final verdict that the jury reaches.  However, by being aware of your biases and consciously managing these biases you can make more sound legal decisions for your client and the court.

If you need to pick up that hard to get Elimination of Bias credit or you are an attorney that has an interest in this fascinating topic, we have had the good fortune of working with Myer J. Sankary to produce an excellent course on the subject.[4]  Myer is a member of the Neuroleadership Institute, and was personally trained by Dr. Robert Cialdini, the author of the best-selling book Influence: Science and Practice, and received his CMCT certification to present the Principles of Persuasion workshop based on Cialdini’s acclaimed research in this field

Myer’s course – Elimination of Bias in the Legal System details the biological and social origins of bias.  He further describes how we might be able to manage bias to reduce certain types of thinking and judgment that are adverse to our clients and the legal system.  Myer’s exploration and learning of the neurosciences has given him new insight into how our brains function and how our decisions are formulated.  The main issues discussed in the course include how the mind and behavior works, how bias is created, and how bias plays out in making decisions in the courtroom and in the office.  Further topics discussed include types of biases, bias in jury selection, implicit social cognition, how to manage bias, bias prevention training, snap judgments, stereotypes, biological evolution & organizing principles of the brain, warmth vs. competence, the SCARP Model, mindfulness and ways to reduce bias.

Don’t miss this chance to learn from an expert on bias!  Myer’s course is one of the best CLE courses that I have had the pleasure of producing.

[1] Bias and Discrimination courses are generally a part of attorneys MCLE requirement as Legal Ethics, Professional Responsibility or Elimination of Bias credit.

[2] Federal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Laws

[3] Professional Ethics & Elimination of Bias

[4] Mr. Sankary teaches the application of cognitive sciences to lawyers and business leaders so that they can become more effective leaders in their professional careers by using the science of the mind and social influence.  Myer has attended numerous advanced courses by leading neuroscientists applying theories of neuroscience to resolving high stakes, high emotion conflicts and has focused his research and training in social science and neuroscience on the subject of “Understanding and Managing Bias in the Legal System.“  Myer recently presented a program to the office of general trial counsel of the State Bar on the use of social and cognitive science in the practice of law and he also trains lawyers to become arbitrators for the Mandatory Fee Arbitration programs.

Don’t Scream! California MCLE Deadline Is Near

The Scream is Edward Munch’s most famous work and probably one of the most recognizable paintings. This painting represents the universal anxiety of modern man. If you are a California attorney whose last name begins with N-Z you may also be experiencing this type of anxiety:

You now have 18 days to fulfill your California MCLE requirement.  That’s 25 total CLE units — including 4 units of Legal Ethics, 1 Unit Substance Abuse, and 1 Unit of Elimination of Bias.

If you sign up today and take two classes each day you will fulfill your CLE by the February 1st deadline.  We have a number of great courses to choose from — from Literature in the Law to the Do’s and Don’ts of e-Discovery … and everything in between.

You don’t have to fret about heading down to the Bar for that ‘Last Chance MCLE‘ seminar.  With CLE Your Way, we got you covered … and you don’t have to get out of your pajamas!  You can listen to CDs in the car, watch DVDs at home, or enjoy our streaming online video courses on your office computer.  We’ve got you covered!

And make sure to report your MCLE compliance electronically this year. The State Bar of California is requiring that you report your MCLE compliance online through My State Bar Profile.  My State Bar Profile is an online feature for California attorneys to pay fees, update personal information, report MCLE compliance, and manage other ministerial tasks.

From the Cal Bar Website:

Please note that, effective Feb. 1, 2010, California Rule of Court 9.7 made it a requirement to use My State Bar Profile as the means to report changes to your contact information, as well as to provide and maintain a private e-mail address for State Bar communications.

If you are a first-time user, call the Member Services Center at 1-888-800-3400 for your initial Access Code. Returning users just need to logon with their password and go to MCLE Compliance.

The benefits of reporting compliance electronically include real-time reporting to into the Cal Bar database with instant confirmation e-mailed to the member. This means no more no more lost compliance cards in the mail! You can visit this Cal Bar webpage for Report Compliance FAQ.

Good luck with all your CLE!

California Specialty Courses: Elimination of Bias, Substance Abuse, Legal Ethics

If you are a California attorney and you just need a few specialty credits before the February 1 MCLE deadline we have your covered.  We have a number of courses in legal ethics, substance abuse, and elimination of bias.  These courses are taught by a range of experts on a variety of interesting subjects – from pharmaceuticals to ethics in IP business applications.

Elimination of Bias:

Legal Ethics:

Substance Abuse:


And with CLE Your Way, you can now take these courses in a variety of media formats – from MP3 to DVD.  If you prefer to work online we offer streaming video and streaming audio.  If you can’t stand to sit down at a computer when you’re out of the office, we now offer 25 Credit CD and DVD packages. And if your lifestyle is a little more mobile we also have downloadable MP3s of many of our top courses.  Lastly, California also allows attorneys to fulfill half of their units with text-based courses so we also offer PDF courses that can be studied on or offline.

Whatever your CLE needs are, we have you covered!  Group 3 attorneys with last names beginning with N – Z  you have a little over a month.  There is still time!

[1] All 6 specialty units included in one easy package.

Bias & Discrimination: What Can Be Done?

Elimination of bias in the legal profession – what does it mean to you? Is it a just another required course in some states? What are your thoughts on the ABA and state bars trying to actively eliminate bias and discrimination in the legal field? As you probably aren’t surprised to find out, these rules are predominantly aspirational and they carry much more bark than bite.

In California we are required to take 25 units every 3 years to fulfill our CLE requirements including four required courses in legal ethics, one on elimination of bias, and one on the prevention, detection, and treatment of substance abuse. Just glimpsing at the required courses, it’s easy to see what regulators and the State Bar of California find important – ethics, substance abuse, and bias and discrimination. Now, I know everyone complains about having to take CLE because attorneys know everything, but there must be a reason that we are mandated to take these required courses.

I think that not too many people could argue with the requirement of four ethics courses. These courses are meant to keep attorneys out of hot water with the State Bar and unhappy clients. Legal Ethics represents the baseline conduct that you can get away with and not get an ethics violation or complaint – many of which form the basis of malpractice claims. Substance Abuse – it’s easy to see why that’s required course.  Nearly 60% of all ethics complaints and malpractice claims stem from problems with drugs and alcohol. It’s pretty simple – the practice of law is stressful, and instead of taking care of themselves many attorneys tend to self-medicate with booze, weed, pills, or others drugs of choice.

However, the question remains – should the ABA and state Bars regulate eliminating bias in the practice of law? If so, how should they go about regulating this conduct? Don’t we already have state and federal protection for certain classes of people already, isn’t this regulation duplicitious?

My answer: if there wasn’t a problem, there would be no mandatory elimination of bias requirement. Unfortunately, while the rest of the United States has become a more diverse place – especially in the last generation – the practice of law can still look like roll call at Augusta National Golf Club. For those of you unfamiliar with golf, Augusta National has a men-only policy – and just about every one of those men is white. My guess is that in thirty years, once America has become even more diverse, eliminating bias and discrimination will not be a problem.  But take a look at the statistics and you will find that women, attorneys with disabilities, and attorneys from minority groups still qualitatively lag behind “the majority.” While quantitatively the numbers have increased over the years, according to the ABA minority representation among law partners remainsless than 3 % in most cities.[1] And with the downturn in the economy, these diversity efforts have taken a beating because ‘diverse’ attorneys were some of the first cut loose at the firm and firms are not putting resources into these programs.

If you want to know more about the subject we have some great topics on the subject. I hate to plug myself, but …. I just got done filming a course on point this week entitled Bias & Discrimination in the Legal Profession – What Can Be Done? Some of the topics I discuss include the unique position of attorneys and their influence on society, the changing legal workplace, examples of bias and discrimination involving attorneys and judges, ABA and state regulation, and whether the private sector is better suited to promote diversity within the legal profession.

We also have another great course on the subject from dynamic speaker and Deputy District Attorney Wendy Patrick Mazzarella entitled Leveling the Playing Field: Eliminating Bias in the Legal Profession. In Leveling the Playing Field, Ms. Mazzarella starts by defining bias and then details the state and federal laws that outlaw bias and discrimination in the practice of law – including Title I, V, and VII. Ms. Mazzarella wraps up the presentation by pointing out who is not protected and presents numerous case examples, including an attorney who was asked by a judge to take his turban off.

What do you think?  I want to hear your opinions on the subject …

Tagged , ,