Self-Assessment and Self-Promotion are Important Pieces to the Diversity and Inclusion Puzzle

07/08/2019 1:09 PM | Alison Oyler-Mitsch (Administrator)

Our diversity and inclusion conversation continues with two speakers who will cover self-assessment and self-promotion within the legal profession. As we talk about these programs and ideas, we must be able to assess our achievement and be able to feel comfortable effectively promoting our accomplishments.

Jonathan White, professional Development Counsel at the Colorado Supreme Court Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel, will present "Proactive Lawyer Self-Assessments: Promoting Professionalism, Inclusivity, and Access to Justice.” Mr. White’s talk will describe a self-assessment tool created by Colorado lawyers and non-lawyer professionals who volunteered their time to help other lawyers succeed in practice. Those volunteers provided practice suggestions and guidance through a series of voluntary, confidential self-assessments.

These assessments encourage lawyers to think about how to serve clients better, meet ethics obligations, and respond to changes in the legal marketplace. The topics evaluated included are access to justice and promoting greater inclusivity in the profession. The evaluation also encourages lawyers to think proactively about how to expand access to justice by making small changes in their practice, or how to bring about greater inclusivity by thinking about how diversity in a law firm can benefit the bottom line. Then this becomes a model for addressing two paramount concerns facing the legal profession: the fact that many Americans do not have the means to afford legal services and that the profession’s diversity does not reflect that of the nation.  Many lawyers have heard of these issues. Many are concerned about these gaps. But how can the profession translate these concerns into action? The self-assessment model is one important answer. Questions coupled with educational resources that are solution-oriented can transform a practice and the legal culture more broadly.

At the end of this session, participants will:

  • ·           Gain an increased understanding of voluntary, confidential proactive practice review programs and their benefit to lawyers and their clients.
  • ·           Become more familiar with the publicly-available resources that discuss lawyer ethics as well as concepts ranging from lawyer well-being to inclusivity.
  • ·           Learn how to create such programs and, in tandem, market them to lawyers.

Another key for inclusiveness in the legal profession is the ability for lawyers to feel comfortable touting their achievement in the field as well as their accomplishments in diversity and inclusion programs. 

Tiffani Lee, Holland & Knights Diversity Partner will speak on “Mastering the Art of Self-Promotion: Effective (but Tactful) Ways to Toot Your Own Horn and Accelerate Career Progress” Women attorneys and attorneys of color often express feeling uncomfortable touting their achievements and advocating for themselves.

Experts and law firm leaders know, however, that self-advocacy is a critical tool for career advancement, including accessing networks, getting stretch opportunities, and making an attorney's accomplishments (or potential) visible. Ms. Lee will share the research, her observations, and practical tips for how women attorneys and attorneys of color can strategically (but tactfully) promote themselves in the workplace to accelerate their career progress.

At the end of this session, participants will

  • ·           Understand the importance of self-advocacy to career development.
  • ·           Become aware of some of the barriers to self-advocacy and unique challenges faced by women attorneys and attorneys of color.
  • ·           Develop practical and diplomatic strategies for self-advocacy that can be used individually or shared with others (ex. in associate mentoring and coaching roles).

Our robust program at this year’s Summit is full of captivating speakers, cutting edge ideas and thought-provoking conversations.  We hope you will join us on July 29th

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