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Government Lawyer Section establishes diversity and inclusion panel

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Government LawyerThe Government Lawyer Section, in keeping with a recent Bar trend, is bolstering its efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.

At an October 23 meeting, the Board of Governors approved proposed section bylaw changes that authorize the creation of a diversity and inclusion committee.

Government Lawyer Section Chair Jacek Stramski said, “we are very excited as a section” by the approval.

“These are very important issues for the Bar in general, and to government practice specifically — not only to help government lawyers provide better legal representation to our clients, but to also help us better meet the constitutional requirements of equal protection and due process that we have sworn to uphold,” he said.

It’s too early to identify specific projects, but section leaders are already laying the groundwork, Stramski said.

“We are finalizing the composition of the committee, and look forward to engaging with the Bar, other sections, and our membership on these important issues,” he said.

The effort can be felt in almost every corner of the Bar.

On September 18, the Bar’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee plans to launch a women’s programming series with a panel discussion about the COVID-19 pandemic and the opportunities it presents for women lawyers. President Dori Foster-Morales is scheduled to deliver an address.

Earlier this year, the Board of Governor’s approved “Path to Unity.” A major D&I Committee effort, the traveling Florida art and legal history project is designed “to tell the story of the Bar’s journey from its segregated past to the rich, multicultural organization that it is today.”

The Business Law Section’s executive council recently approved a CLE Diversity Policy that will require CLE professional panels to include members from underrepresented groups.

The new policy was developed jointly by members of the Business Law Section’s Inclusion, Mentoring and Fellowship Committee and the D&I Committee, according to Business Law Section Chair Leyza Blanco.

“Our Inclusion Mentoring Fellowship Committee did extensive work reviewing similar policies for organizations around the U.S. in developing this policy,” Blanco said.

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