CBA Record February-March 2019

CBA SIGNATURE SERIES HOSTS DENNIS ARCHER Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession

By Katie Liss Editorial Board Member D ennis Archer addressed members on the important issue of diversity in the legal profession at a recent CBA Record Signature Series presentation. Archer, who was mayor of Detroit from 1994 to 2001, served as the first African- American president of the American Bar Association in 2003, and was an Associate Justice on the Michigan Supreme Court from 1986 through 1990. Archer highlighted some of the successes in the legal profession women and people of color have realized since he graduated law school, including: • Leadership within the legal commu- nity––in courts, law schools, and bar associations; and • Employment across the corporate sector, particularly due to the promo- tion by general counsels of the hiring of women and people of color. He noted that some of these gains were lost during the 2007–2014 recession, especially pertaining to female attorneys of color at law firms. Nonetheless, there have been positive changes with respect to diversity and inclusion in the legal profession since 2014, and Archer remains optimistic about the trajectory of these changes. The census estimates the U.S. will have a “minority majority” in 50 years, and therefore it will be a business imperative to market to people of color. In Archer’s words, “things are going to change,” and progress will be made to include more women and people of color in the legal profession.

Pictured at the law offices of Clark Hill are (top) speaker Dennis W. Archer, and (above, left to right) CBA Record Editor-In-Chief and Illinois Appellate Court Justice Michael B. Hyman, CBA Board of Managers Member and Program Coordinator Nina Fain, CBA President Steven Elrod andClark Hill Managing Partner Ray Koenig. Photos by Bill Richert.

The event was sponsored by the Chicago Bar Association, Clark Hill PLC, Illinois Judicial Council, American Bar Associa-

tion Section of State and Local Govern- ment Law, and American Bar Association Judicial Division.


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