All Bar Conference to delve into diversity

first_img February 1, 2001 Regular News All Bar Conference to delve into diversity All Bar Conference to delve into diversity Large law firms and corporate counsel offices should focus on becoming more diverse, according to Bar President Herman Russomanno. And to bring the issue to the forefront, Russomanno has decided to devote the 2001 All Bar Conference to the topic. The conference, which will be held Friday, March 9 at the Tampa Airport Marriott, will explore ways to promote the value of a diverse legal profession, with special emphasis on increasing diversity at large law firms and corporate counsel offices. Russomanno said the conference will explore the topic of economic empowerment, or how law firms benefit from embracing diversity and how certain corporations look toward diversity in awarding business. “The Florida Bar is committed to full and equal participation of women and minorities in the legal profession,” Russomanno said. Conference participants will also discuss how best to promote the recruitment of minority law school students and encourage the retention and advancement of minority lawyers. The All Bar Conference is being organized by a committee co-chaired by Raul A. Arencibia, chair of the Bar’s Equal Opportunities Law Section; Barbara A. Eagan, president of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers; and Craig Gibbs, president of the National Bar Association’s Virgil Hawkins chapter. The Fall 2000 issue of the American Bar Association Bar Leader notes that the U.S. population is currently comprised of 73 percent white and 27 percent of color. While The Florida Bar may not reflect this percentage of minorities at present, projections for the year 2050 note that the U.S. population will be only 53 percent white and 47 percent of color. Russomanno says the Bar will need to work hard to keep up. Minority law students may be the first avenue for increasing diversity, said Arencibia. “Some individuals have said that if you don’t have the advancement of minorities in law firms and major corporate departments, then you have `the chicken and the egg’ problem where minority students will not be going to law school because they don’t perceive that in the future the avenue will be available to them to succeed,” said Arencibia. “This is one issue we need to address.” Another issue, according to Gibbs, is that law firms have not made a strong enough commitment to recruiting minorities right out of law school. “So often firms are claiming that there’s just no pool of minority candidates to draw potential attorneys from,” said Gibbs. “Part of that is these firms are looking for the Michael Jordan of the law school class, and not the guy who’s going to put in 10 points every game and give you five rebounds.” Many times, when talking about diversity, women are left out of the picture. This will not be the case at the All Bar Conference, according to Russomanno. He hopes to include speeches by women lawyers who have achieved a great deal of success in their profession. “These women rainmakers are inspirational for the success they have achieved,” Russomanno said. “They set a shining example of the heights women can achieve in this profession.” Whereas education is the main focus of increasing the number of minorities in the profession, it is not the main focus for women, according to Eagan. “[Women] are well-advanced in the education portion of the dilemma, but women face more problems with retention and advancement in the law firm setting. A lot of it is practical because women don’t have access to the client base that men often have access to, and, in a law firm setting, that’s the way you advance bottom line, the clients and money you bring in,” said Eagan. The All Bar Conference will be held Friday, March 9, in the ballroom of the Tampa Airport Marriott. Persons interested in attending should call Pat Stephens in The Florida Bar’s Public Information office at (800) 342-8060 ext. 5764 or e-mail your registration request to [email protected] There will be no registration fee, but lunch will only be provided to enrolled attendees. The program is designed to allow one-day travel, but those requiring lodging on March 8 should contact the Marriott by February 15, to ensure the room block rate of $159. Reservations can be made by calling the hotel’s reservation center at (407) 812-6040.last_img

Southall eye QPR’s proposed training base

first_imgThe owners of Southall FC want to redevelop the Warren Farm site QPR are hoping to turn into their new training ground.West London Sport revealed last month that the facility near Osterely Park is Rangers’ preferred option for an improved training base.The club plan to leave their current headquarters at Harlington later this year and a number of possible alternatives have been identified.AdChoices广告Warren Farm is their first choice but Southall, who play in the Middlesex County Premier League, are backed by wealthy local investors and also intend to submit proposals to Ealing Council.And they are expected to argue that their plans for a state-of-the-art complex would be of greater benefit to the local community.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img