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Combating Bias and Increasing Inclusion in the Legal Profession

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 93 minutes
Recorded Date: March 28, 2017
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  • Report diversity and inclusion statistics for the legal profession 
  • Explore the causes for the lack of diversity at all levels in the legal profession
  • Explain the concept of implicit bias
  • Provide specific examples of implicit bias
  • Discuss strategies for combating implicit bias
Runtime: 1 hour and 33 minutes
Recorded: March 28, 2017


The goal of any organization or profession should be to promote diverse perspectives through the inclusion of all races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientation, gender identities, and disability statuses. Join our seasoned panel as they discuss the state of diversity and inclusion and tackling unconscious bias.

This program was recorded on March 28th, 2017.

Provided By

American Bar Association
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Eli Wald

Charles W. Delaney Jr. Professor of Law
University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Eli Wald is the Charles W. Delaney Jr. Professor of Law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. A legal ethics and legal profession scholar, Wald has written on topics such as increased lawyer mobility, conflict of interests and attorney disqualification, attorney-client communications, lawyers’ fiduciary duties to clients, the nationalization and globalization of law practice, and, most recently, the challenges facing lawyers representing clients in the emerging marijuana industry. Professor Wald’s work has appeared in leading journals such as the Fordham, Stanford, University of Colorado and Wisconsin law reviews, and the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics. His articles have been cited in ABA ethics opinions and excerpted in legal ethics casebooks.

Professor Wald’s ongoing research into the causes and manifestations of explicit prejudice and implicit bias at large law firms, as well as means of overcoming discrimination, has gained national attention. His scholarship examines the structure and organization of law firms as well as the professional and personal identities of their lawyers to better understand the hiring and promotion patterns of law firms, and the lingering under-representation of minorities in positions of power and influence. Wald’s articles have explored the rise and fall of WASP and Jewish law firms (2008), the role of kinship and nepotism in law firms’ promotion decisions (2009), the discriminatory consequences of professional ideology (2010), and implicit mechanisms of discrimination in BigLaw (2011) and In-House legal departments (2012).

Wald is a member of the Colorado Supreme Court Standing Committee on the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct, a member of the Colorado State Bar Association’s Ethics Committee and a member of the Colorado Chief Justice’s Commission on the Legal Profession. He serves as a member of the executive committee of the Association of American Law Schools’ Professional Responsibility Section, and is an expert witness in legal ethics and malpractice matters, a legal ethics expert commentary author for LexisNexis, and a frequent legal ethics CLE instructor. At the law school, his accomplishments include winning the best faculty advisor award, and being named a Chu Family Faculty Fellow and the Hughes-Ruud Research Professor.

Prior to joining the Sturm College of Law, Professor Wald was a litigation associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York City. He holds S.J.D. and LL.M. degrees from Harvard Law School, where he was a John Olin Fellow in Law and Economics, a Fellow at the Center for Ethics and the Professions, and a Clark Byse Fellow. Wald also earned LL.B. and B.A. degrees from Tel-Aviv University, where he was a law review editor and a Visiting Fellow at the Max Plunk Institutes in Hamburg and Heidelberg, Germany.

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Remwei Chung

Diversity Columnist at Above the Law
Braking Media, Inc.

Renwei Chung is the Diversity Columnist at Above the Law.

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Michelle Silverthorn

Diversity & Education Director
Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism

As the Diversity & Education Director for the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, Michelle expands the Commission’s national presence through blogs, social networking sites, and online discussion groups on legal education, diversity and young lawyers. Michelle is also the chief instructional designer for the Commission’s numerous educational offerings, including our new hour-long series of online interactive courses. In addition, Michelle works with law schools, law students and other legal groups, developing interactive and dynamic education courses and workshops. She writes and speaks frequently on inter-generational issues in the workplace. She is certified both in instructional design and intercultural competency.

Prior to joining the Commission, Michelle worked as a litigation associate with Schiff Hardin in Chicago and Latham & Watkins in New York City. She also previously worked as an arts and entertainment journalist in Trinidad and Tobago, a legal researcher in Puno, Peru and Geneva, Switzerland, and a volunteer teacher in Gaborone, Botswana and Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Michelle grew up in the Caribbean and now lives in Chicago with her husband Daniel and their two daughters. She volunteers in her local and professional community, including serving as Co-Chair of the Michigan Law Alumni Club of Chicago, Director for the Princeton Club of Chicago, and an elected Community Representative for her Local School Council.

Michelle received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University and her law degree from the University of Michigan Law School.

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