By Catherine Chan
Chan Law Firm, Founder; CLI Board Member
Diversity in the legal profession can mean many things: gender diversity, racial diversity, diversity in legal fields and firm size, and more.
When I began my practice in 2003, there were few female solo practitioners to contact for help or questions. As I sought and joined different law-related organizations, I found few female attorneys on key boards and committees, and even fewer attorneys of color. Additionally, the leadership of most the boards and committees were drawn from large firms.
It was a bit of a lonely world. On the one hand, I felt I should be able to represent some of those missing voices at the table. The voices belonging to solo or small firm attorneys, attorneys of color, and female attorneys. On the other hand, I was hoping to meet some of those voices already at the table, so to learn from them as well.
The Center for Legal Inclusiveness (CLI) fills many of these voids. CLI not only commits itself to advancing diversity in the legal profession, it also provides mechanisms for the discussion and understanding of issues affecting diversity in the legal profession. CLI promotes this mission in word and deed. CLI provides a forum where all attorneys are appreciated, safe, and able to further learn and develop through, and because of, our many diversities, not in spite of them.
Happy 10th anniversary CLI! Thank you.