May 7, 2014 – The State Bar Diversity Task Force, chaired by Milwaukee Circuit Judge Carl Ashley and charged with making recommendations regarding the role of the State Bar in promoting and furthering diversity and inclusion, has been hard at work.
The Task Force has held listening sessions with various stakeholder groups and appreciates the participation of these groups. The Task Force is now in the process of formulating recommendations in four key areas: (1) defining diversity and articulating the Bar’s commitment to diversity and inclusion; (2) promoting diversity within the State Bar as an organization; (3) identifying the Bar’s role in promoting diversity within UW and Marquette law schools; and (4) determining the Bar’s role in promoting diversity within Wisconsin’s legal profession as a whole.
Task Force Members
gov carl.ashley wicourts Hon. Carl Ashley, chair, Milwaukee
net michelle_behnke sbcglobal Michelle A. Behnke, Madison
com achevrez execpc Andrew J. Chevrez, Milwaukee
wi kathleen.chung dot gov Kathleen Chung, Madison
Bruce J. Lindl, Muskego
edu vada.lindsey marquette Vada Lindsey, Milwaukee
com mmcginnity foley Maureen A. McGinnity, Milwaukee
com cory.nettles quarles Cory L. Nettles, Milwaukee
com cortiz hinshawlaw Carlos A. Ortiz, Chicago,
Rebecca L. Smith, Madison
Jo A. Swamp, Milwaukee
gov starlyn.tourtillott mohican-nsn Starlyn Rose Tourtillott, Bowler
com greg_wesley gshllp Gregory Maurice Wesley, Milwaukee
Here are some immediate opportunities for members to contribute to the Task Force’s work:
1. Share diversity best practices as part of the “Nominate a Legal Innovator” project. The April edition of The Wisconsin Lawyer solicited nominations for Wisconsin Legal Innovators, i.e. attorneys and organizations who are bringing positive change to Wisconsin’s legal landscape. Diversity is one of the categories for nominations. We want to hear about innovative diversity initiatives and best practices that are making a difference in promoting and expanding diversity and inclusion in the areas of recruitment; professional development; retention, culture and inclusion; and leadership. The Task Force encourages you to participate in the Legal Innovators competition as a vehicle to share information about diversity initiatives you have found to be successful and impactful, which hopefully can be replicated by others. To submit a nomination or find out more about this project, go to ThatsaFineIdea.com.
2. Participate in listening sessions for LGBTQ and disabled attorneys and law students. The Task Force is planning to hold additional listening sessions with LGBTQ attorneys and law students, and with disabled attorneys and law students, to ensure your perspectives are considered. If you are an attorney or law student who identifies as LGBTQ or with disability and are willing to participate in a listening session, please contact Sonabai Kanhai at (608) 250-6181 or org skanhai wisbar wisbar skanhai org.
3.Self-identify on dues renewal statements. In keeping with the Bar’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, we want to ensure we have the necessary demographic data to identify members of diverse groups so we can share information on programs of interest, help members connect with each other, and track progress in improving diversity and inclusion. When you receive your dues renewal statements in a few weeks, you will see a new section asking you to provide or verify demographic data. Please be sure to complete this section so the Task Force has accurate information.
If you have any questions, please contact org skanhai wisbar Sonabai Kanhai or any member of the Diversity Task Force.