"How Far have We Really Come in the Legal Field?”
Watch this panel discussion from March 24, 2021 on this important question with legal experts from diverse backgrounds.
NOW APPROVED FOR 2 CLE CREDITS!*
Panel featuring: Retired Judge Angie Arkin; Christine M. Hernandez, Esq., Chair Immigration Section Hispanic National Bar Association; Ann Jenrette-Thomas, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer Stinson LLP; and Rochelle Washington, Practice Management Advisor DC Bar. Moderated by CLI’s CEO, Sara Scott.
*To receive your CLE Credits see Events & Education page
Meet Our Panelists:
Angela R. Arkin, District Court Judge (Retired), Arbiter with Judicial Arbiter Group, Inc.
The Honorable Angela R. Arkin is a 1983 graduate of Emory Law School, and is licensed in Colorado, Georgia and the District of Columbia. Judge Arkin practiced civil, criminal, and family law in Georgia and Colorado for over seventeen years. In August 2000, Judge Arkin was hired as a District Court Magistrate in Arapahoe County, and was then appointed to a District Court Judgeship in July, 2002.
Judge Arkin was chosen as the 2015 District Court Judge Honoree for the Colorado Judicial Institute Judicial Excellence Award, and received many other awards and recognition for her service to the Colorado bench, bar, and Colorado families.
In 2016, Judge Arkin retired from the bench, and created a resource center at The Harris Law Firm to provide unbundled legal services to self-represented litigants. In 2017, Judge Arkin joined the Judicial Arbiter Group, Inc. (JAG), where her current practice includes mediation, arbitration, med/arb, and appointed judge services in domestic relations, civil, and probate cases.
In October 2017, Judges Alfred Harrell and Arkin created the “Symposium on Race,” an ongoing monthly forum for discussion of race issues (symposiumonracedenver.com).
Judge Arkin is Co-Chair of the Paralegals and Legal Services (PALS) sub-committee of the Colorado Supreme Court Advisory Committee, is a member of the Colorado Chapter of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, is an author and reviser of the CBA Bench Bar Book on Domestic Relations, is on the Douglas County Domestic Relations Best Practices Team, volunteers as a mediator at the Douglas County Combined Court, and is a past president of the Colorado Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, amongst other professional activities.
Rochelle D. Washington, Practice Management Advisor with DC Bar
Rochelle D. Washington is a practice management advisor in the Practice Management Advisory Service (PMAS) of the D.C. Bar. She advises on proper business management and administration protocols for successful entrepreneurship. Specifically, she assists lawyers with the business issues related to starting, growing, and managing a law firm. She was recognized by the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center as a 2017 Woman of Legal Tech and by Fastcase as a 2017 Fastcase 50. Rochelle develops and manages the annual D.C. Bar all-day educational event, Practice 360°| A Day for Lawyers & Law Firms and the Small Firm Lunch and Learn program series. Ms. Washington co-leads Basic Training & Beyond, a two-day, monthly, free program for small firm lawyers in D.C. and the annual multi-session Successful Small Firm Practice Course, an in-depth multi-part exploration of starting and growing a small firm. Both programs are past recipients of the ABA Gambrell Award for Professionalism.
Also, I am on the diversity and inclusion committee here at the Bar. Do you think you could speak to our internal staff on a diversity and inclusion or recommend someone? I am open to your suggestions and expertise and I think you would be great! Thanks in advance.
Christine M. Hernandez, Esq., Chair Immigration Section Hispanic National Bar Association and Past-President Colorado Hispanic Bar Association
Christine M. Hernández is a seasoned immigration litigation and appellate attorney with over ten years of experience. Her practice is based in Denver, Colorado where she is a partner at Hernández & Associates, P.C. Christine's work in immigration law includes the representation of individuals and families before administrative, judicial, and appellate immigration proceedings.
Colorado Immigration Litigation: Christine is a trusted advisor and counselor to her immigration clients. Her practice covers nearly all aspects of immigration law including removal defense, family-based immigration, and asylum. She also has years of experience with consular processing, U Visas, VAWA, and SIJS.
Regardless of the status of their citizenship, Christine M. Hernández has successfully guided her clients through the complicated process of standing before immigration courts and administrative agencies. She has represented individuals all over the country and from all over the world, in matters involving the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Executive Office for Immigration Review, and the Board of Immigration Appeals. She has also argued before the 9th and 10th U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals. Christine's immigration litigation practice is results-oriented and focused on keeping individuals and families lawfully in the United States.
Crimmigration Law Practice: Christine M. Hernández is at the forefront of the developing area of law known as "crimmigration." Individuals that face both immigration and criminal charges rely on her experience to tactically navigate through their simultaneous cases. The consequences are high in crimmigration matters for the accused individual, as a criminal conviction can trigger the initiation of removal proceedings. In some instances, an individual wanting to enter the United States may face higher scrutiny by the immigration courts because of crimes committed in the past or overseas. Regardless of the circumstances or the gravity of the charges, Christine provides a top-notch holistic crimmigration defense to secure the best possible outcome for her client.
Background: Christine M. Hernández is a prominent Colorado immigration attorney, lecturer, and author. She is often asked to share her expertise with the bench and bar. She has lectured and authored articles on a variety of issues surrounding immigration litigation including asylum, removal proceedings, and the consequences of criminal convictions in immigration matters.
Christine is bilingual in English and Spanish. She is dedicated to serving immigrant populations and is a member of many impactful legal organizations and community committees. Christine earned her law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and graduated magna cum laude with a B.S.B.A. from American University. She began her legal career as a judicial clerk with the Denver Immigration Court and the Supremo Tribunal de Justicia in Guanajuato, Mexico.
Ann Jenrette-Thomas, CHIEF DIVERSITY & INCLUSION OFFICER
Ann oversees the implementation of the firm's Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, taking an innovative approach when it comes to addressing challenges within the firm and the profession relating to diversity and inclusion. Her two-pronged approach centers on individual responsibility—equipping people with the knowledge, skills and tools they need to create and inclusive environment—and eradicating the effects of bias through systems and process. She addresses structural bias by continuously evaluating the firm's policies, practices and norms and identifying unique methods to achieve desired outcomes.
When she noticed that diverse attorneys and law students were often foreclosing opportunities simply because they did not know the "unwritten rules" for success in the profession, Ann created Big Law Success: The Inside Scoop for Law Students and New Lawyers, a five-part podcast that demystifies how to thrive in big law. Ann also led a multi-stop roadshow to law schools in order to educate diverse law students on the importance of a strong personal brand, and has worked with several organizations on diversifying the law school pipeline.
Among numerous publications and presentations throughout her career, Ann penned the Amazon best seller, The Happy Law Practice: Expert Strategies to Build Business and Maintain Peace of Mind. Prior to joining Stinson, Ann was a diversity and inclusion consultant, an attorney at an Am Law 100 firm, a judicial clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and a legislative attorney for the New York City Council. She was also president and CEO of a nonprofit organization.
Under Ann's leadership, Stinson has achieved a number of successes since she joined the firm in November 2016, including:
● A 72 percent increase in attorneys of color in two years.
● The creation of eight employee resource groups to foster greater inclusion, professional development, and business development among women, people of color, LGBT individuals and veterans.
● The launch of a Minority Fellowship for 1L students that provides up to $30,000 in tuition assistance in addition to a 1L summer associate position with the possibility for a 2L summer associate position.
Receiving several prestigious awards, including the Gold Standard Certification by the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) for 8 years in a row, the Best place to Work for LGBTQ Equality for 2 years in a row, and the 2018 Missouri Lawyers Media's Inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Award (Stinson was the only law firm to be recognized with the honor).