New York Institutes a Diversity, Inclusion and Elimination of Bias CLE Requirement for Experienced Attorneys | Media Listing | NYC Bar
Diversity brings diverse perspectives, and fairer representation for a diverse society. While the legal profession has publicly committed itself to diversity and inclusion, it has yet to become a model of inclusion itself, remaining largely homogeneous even as the population it serves continues to grow more heterogenous.
Beginning in 2018, a biennial requirement of one credit of Diversity & Inclusion CLE will be implemented in New York for experienced attorneys. In July of last year, the New York City Bar Association and 12 other New York bar associations issued a letter endorsing the institution of a D&I CLE requirement for New York State, in accordance with Resolution 107 passed by the American Bar Association in February 2016. That resolution emphasized education for lawyers around an expanded definition of diversity, meaning the inclusion of all persons regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disabilities. On September 14, 2016 and January 12, 2017, AABANY issued letters in support of the D&I CLE initiative, as an organization committed to the values of equality and social justice that the legal profession upholds and to breaking the obstacles of bias and discrimination that face the APA community within the profession.
The legal profession should reflect the diversity and the complexity of the society it serves, something that the Asian American community, which remains disproportionately underrepresented in the profession today, knows all too well. “Education and knowledge breed change,” Immediate Past President Susan L. Shin wrote in a letter to Hon. Betty Ellerin, Chair of the New York State Continuing Legal Education Board, last year. “By recognizing the importance of diversity and inclusion as values of primary importance, the D&I CLE requirement directly addresses one of the most important criticisms of the legal profession.” As so clearly evidenced by A Portrait of Asian Americans in the Law, the report published by NAPABA and Yale Law School on July 18, Asian Americans still face many barriers when it comes to being accurately represented and fairly treated, despite three decades of growth and progress in the legal profession. The implementation of a D&I CLE is a crucial step forward in promoting diversity in the legal profession, in finding solutions to the problems addressed by the Portrait Project, and in making the law more fair and just for those who work within it and for those it serves.
For more information on the D&I CLE, follow the link in the title.