Committee Reports

Statement in Support of ABA Resolution on Diversity & Inclusion CLE


City Bar President Debra L. Raskin issued a statement in support of ABA Resolution 107, which encourages all state, territorial, and tribal courts, bar associations and other licensing and regulatory authorities that have mandatory or minimum continuing legal education requirements (MCLE) to modify their rules to include, as a separate credit, programs regarding diversity and inclusion in the legal profession of all persons, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disabilities, and programs regarding the elimination of bias (“D&I CLE”). The resolution does not call for an increase in the total number of MCLE credits required per cycle, nor does it specify the number of hours of D&I CLE required. In the statement, Ms. Raskin discussed the work of the City Bar’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion, which works with New York City legal employers to foster more diverse and inclusive work environments while supporting and regularly tracking the progress of more than 145 signatory law firms and law departments on key diversity representation metrics. Ms. Raskin further noted that a required D&I CLE program would be an important tool to raise awareness of both explicit and implicit bias within the profession and to educate and empower those who can affect change, particularly law firm leaders. Folding diversity and inclusion training into the familiar CLE rubric, similar to an ethics requirement, would also send an important message: as lawyers, we have a responsibility to recognize and eliminate bias where we may not now see it, to uphold principles of justice and equality, and to ensure that our workplaces and institutions reflect those principles.