Mission: To increase diversity and inclusion in The Florida Bar so that the Bar will reflect the demographics of the state, to develop opportunities for community involvement, and to make leadership roles within the profession and The Florida Bar accessible to all attorneys, including those who are racially, ethnically and culturally diverse, women, members of the LGBTQ community and persons with disabilities.
“Get Involved” – The Importance of Minority Lawyers’ Involvement With The Florida Bar
April 15, noon-1:00 p.m., Zoom
Andres Oliveros, founding partner, Oliveros Law; Judge Jessica Costello, county judge, Thirteenth Judicial Circuit; and Juliet Roulhac, regional director for corporate external affairs, Florida Power & Light will discuss their respective involvement with The Florida Bar, whether through section or voluntary bar association involvement. They will also discuss the importance of minority lawyers being engaged with The Florida Bar.
Bridging Bias and Inclusion with Cultural Competency
April 26, noon-1:00 p.m., Zoom
This program lays the foundation upon which participants can create personal roadmaps toward achieving the cultural competence that is necessary to successfully serve a multicultural and multidimensional world. Florida Bar Board of Governors member Nikki Lewis Simon, partner at Greenberg Traurig P.A., will moderate a panel discussion with Gisela Laurent, 9th Circuit judge; C. Jade Davis, associate attorney at Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick LLP; Alisia Adamson Profit, foundering partner at HAWM Law; and Robert Grimaldi, associate attorney at Cohen Law Group.
Celebrating Women’s History Month
At only 5’1” and 100 pounds, diminutive powerhouse Joan Ruth Bader Ginsburg has left us a legacy to be cherished.
After graduating first in a class of 500 law students that included only eight other women, Ginsburg found it hard to get a job as an attorney due to what she termed her three strikes: she was Jewish, a woman and the mother of a young child.
Ginsburg became a pioneering advocate for women’s rights and worked relentlessly to prove that the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution applied to sex discrimination as well as racial discrimination.
She became the second woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court and penned the majority opinion in United States v. Virginia, 518 U.S. 515 (1996) indicating that the Virginia Military Institute’s all male admission policy violated the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The opinion was a blow to any law that per Ginsburg, “denies to women, simply because they are women, full citizenship stature—equal opportunity to aspire, achieve, participate in and contribute to society.”
Later nicknamed “The Notorious RBG” by her fans, Ginsburg is the first woman to lay in state at the U.S. Capitol.
Following recommendations from the Program Evaluation Committee, The Florida Bar in 2010 overhauled its diversity efforts and created the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
The Board of Governors approved a dozen recommendations from the PEC, including adopting a definition of diversity, transferring functions of the Member Outreach Committee to the new committee, and creating a Florida Bar diversity grant program for local bars.
Definition of Diversity
The term “diversity” has a dynamic meaning that changes as the demographics of Floridians change. Apart from differences in race, color, gender, national origin, religion, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, and geography, to mention a few, the public and our profession will experience changes in thought, culture, and beliefs. These demographics are constantly in flux. Defining “diversity” based on current differences would limit its application to future changes, and likewise restrict or limit The Florida Bar’s consideration of and response to such changes.
–The Florida Bar Board of Governors, May 2010
Commitment to Promoting Diversity
The Florida Bar is fully committed to the enhancement of diversity within the Bar, the legal profession, legal education, and in the justice system, and affirms its commitment toward a diverse and inclusive environment with equal access and equal opportunity for all.
–The Florida Bar Board of Governors, May 2010
The Florida Bar President’s Special Task Force
Florida Bar President Eugene Pettis appointed an 11-member task force in February 2014 to determine why diverse candidates were not applying for Judicial Nominating Commission appointment or for judgeships. The task force issued a report in May 2014.
- News Release: Florida Bar Task Force Delivers Report On Increasing Diversity On The Bench And Jnc Appointment Panels
- The Florida Bar President’s Special Task Force to Study Enhancement of Diversity in the Judiciary and on the JNCs (22 pages.)
- Appendices to the Task Force Report (318 pages.)