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Bar Associations in New York Call for Diversity CLE (New York Law Journal)

New York Law Journal, July 22, 2016

Bar Associations in New York Call for Diversity CLE

“The New York City Bar Association and a coalition of bar groups for women and minorities are calling on the state court system to require attorneys to take courses in diversity and inclusion as part of their biennial registration. In a letter addressed to Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, the group said it wants attorneys to report the completion of the diversity CLE hours as part of their 20 hours of non-ethics credits. ‘Despite efforts by many New York City law firms to increase their engagement and investment in diversity progress and retention, the attrition rate of minority attorneys at those and other New York law firms remains disproportionately high,’ the letter stated. ‘We must do more to reverse this trend.’ John Kiernan, president of the city bar and a partner at Debevoise & Plimpton, said in an interview that, while a CLE course is ‘not the only step’ that the legal profession should take to increase its embrace of diversity, it would be a ‘positive step for the profession to improve its record in this area. What this is is a recognition that we’re not where we want to be as a profession and that there’s value in continuing to focus to do more,’ he said.”

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