I am honored to follow in Ebony Huddleston’s footsteps as chair of the Standing Committee on Racial and Ethnic Minorities and the Law (REM). I am also very excited about the work that the Committee (through its hardworking members) has done to further diversity issues and programs.
The Law and Leadership Institute, discussed by Ebony in the last Chair’s column, was a success. This program, held at both Southern Illinois University School of Law and The John Marshall Law School during the summer, focused on mentoring high school students and teaching them about various aspects of the law. Many ISBA members volunteered their time, monies and talents to teach these eager high school students about different legal subjects, as well as share practical skills regarding applications, classes, employment and legal practice. The ISBA is doing great work with this outstanding program. I encourage all members to learn more about the Law & Leadership Institute and how they can volunteer in 2013.
The REM Committee is currently exploring the creation of a spring 2013 program that focuses on diversity and diverse attorneys as assets to the private practice. This program would potentially look into how diversity in today’s practice is not only an important cause, but also something that helps a law firm satisfy current societal needs and demands. The Committee is putting together a proposal for the ISBA. I will give an update in the next Chair’s column as to the status of this proposal.
I am looking forward to an excellent and productive year with our REM Committee. Please stay tuned for further updates and progress on our many initiatives. ■