Chair’s column

Welcome to the newsletter of the Standing Committee on Racial & Ethnic Minorities and the Law (REM). I am excited and humbled to serve as chair of this relevant and distinguished committee for the 2011-2012 year. The committee is committed to making sure that minority racial and ethnic groups have their voices heard in the Illinois State Bar Association and throughout the legal community. We are emphasizing the importance of having open and honest communications within the legal community in order to enhance our legal community and maximize the trust and confidence of those individuals and businesses we serve.

We strive to convey relevant issues affecting minorities to the public and other lawyers. We do this by organizing cable television programs, and continuing legal education seminars, weighing in on proposed legislation, forming community partnerships and by publishing our newsletter. Since becoming a member of this committee, I have used these resources to enhance my practice and form great relationships with practitioners across the state. Practicing law requires more than knowledge of the law. It requires maximizing the numerous resources available to execute my cases most effectively for my clients. Participating in CLE programs, writing articles for the newsletter and working with committee members are ways to enhance my knowledge of the law and broaden my perspective on issues shaping our community. I hope our readers receive the same benefits.

This year REM is focusing on building stronger relationships with the Illinois law schools and racial and ethnic bar associations across the state. We encourage law school students to participate in discussions promoting legal issues which affect racial and ethnic minorities across the state. Similarly, we encourage local bar associations in the various counties of the state to voice concerns which arise in their communities to the larger legal community. By partnering with our committee, and ultimately the Illinois State Bar Association, all segments of our legal community can effectively communicate with one another in an effort to build a stronger network.

Our committee has a great mix of men and women involved in various areas of the law. Our members serve in private practice, government venues and law school settings. We intend to use these perspectives and expertise to weigh in on legal issues affecting racial and ethnic minorities across the state. We are excited about the programs and support this committee will provide. We look forward to you joining us in our efforts! ■

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October 2011Volume 22Number 1PDF icon PDF version (for best printing)