IU – Indy’s Diversity week

October 5, 2009
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If we want law firms and legal offices to be more diverse, we should encourage diversity and inclusion at an earlier stage in the legal career, such as while in law school. Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis is doing just that by celebrating its first ever Diversity Week. The events kick off today and continue through Thursday.

The school’s Diversity Committee believed a Diversity Week would be useful to open the eyes of students, faculty, and staff at the law school to the many faces that make up the legal profession. It also hopes the event will build relationships between the law school and Indianapolis.

Even though the events are through the law school and for the benefit of IU – Indy and its students, anyone in the legal community can participate in many of the activities and get something from them.

There’s a Cultural Celebration Fair this evening from 5 to 7 p.m. in the law school’s Connor Atrium brought to you by the International Law Society and Masters of Laws Association. It’s open to the public and will feature information about countries and cultures, as well as food, music, and more.

There’s a panel discussion about the nomination of Justice Sonia Sotomayor for students at 1 p.m. Tuesday in Room 375 of the law school. That night, the Black Law Student Association will present a poetry slam entitled “The Beauty of Struggle” where students, faculty, and the public can listen as members of the law school community present their original compositions. It will be at Mo’ Joe’s, 222 W. Michigan St., Indianapolis. Those wanting to present a poem or make a donation to collect school supplies for Indy Schools on Wheels should contact the BLSA at blsaiuls@iupui.edu.

On Wednesday, students can attend one of two workshops presented by professionals in the Human Resources Department at IUPUI on “Diversity and Entering the Profession.” Interested students should contact Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Matt Banker’s office at mbanker@iupui.edu because space is limited.

Finally, the week ends with a keynote lecture by former Indiana Supreme Court Justice Myra Selby, the first African-American woman to serve on that court. She’ll speak about diversity in the legal profession at 4:30 p.m. in the Wynne Courtroom. It’s open to the public and one hour of CLE credit is offered. Contact Tamara McMillian at tmcmilli@iupui.edu for more information.

Diversity is important in every profession. By discussing it while in law school and raising concerns and offering possible solutions, it puts Indiana’s lawyers in the mindset that diversity is essential and valued at every step in one’s legal career. Events like this also help practicing attorneys be up-to-date about concerns future lawyers may have as well as meeting potential co-workers or members of Indiana’s legal community.

You can learn more about these events on the law school’s Web site.

As Anthony Pearson, president of the BLSA who is involved in the Diversity Committee, so aptly put it “Diversity is less about the color of a person’s color and more about their perspective. A diverse legal ecosystem adds unparalleled value in the way it allows the legal community to respond to the multifaceted issues encountered by a community or company.”
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  1. Hysteria? Really Ben? Tell the young lady reported on in the link below that worrying about the sexualizing of our children is mere hysteria. Such thinking is common in the Royal Order of Jesters and other running sex vacays in Thailand or Brazil ... like Indy's Jared Fogle. Those tempted to call such concerns mere histronics need to think on this: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/a-12-year-old-girl-live-streamed-her-suicide-it-took-two-weeks-for-facebook-to-take-the-video-down/ar-AAlT8ka?li=AA4ZnC&ocid=spartanntp

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  3. This is happening so much. Even in 2016.2017. I hope the father sue for civil rights violation. I hope he sue as more are doing and even without a lawyer as pro-se, he got a good one here. God bless him.

  4. JLAP and other courtiers ... Those running court systems, have most substance abuse issues. Probably self medicating to cover conscience issues arising out of acts furthering govt corruption

  5. I whole-heartedly agree with Doug Church's comment, above. Indiana lawyers were especially fortunate to benefit from Tom Pyrz' leadership and foresight at a time when there has been unprecedented change in the legal profession. Consider how dramatically computer technology and its role in the practice of law have changed over the last 25 years. The impact of the great recession of 2008 dramatically changed the composition and structure of law firms across the country. Economic pressures altered what had long been a routine, robust annual recruitment process for law students and recent law school graduates. That has, in turn, impacted law school enrollment across the country, placing upward pressure on law school tuition. The internet continues to drive significant changes in the provision of legal services in both public and private sectors. The ISBA has worked to make quality legal representation accessible and affordable for all who need it and to raise general public understanding of Indiana laws and procedures. How difficult it would have been to tackle each of these issues without Tom's leadership. Tom has set the tone for positive change at the ISBA to meet the evolving practice needs of lawyers of all backgrounds and ages. He has led the organization with vision, patience, flexibility, commitment, thoughtfulness & even humor. He will, indeed, be a tough act to follow. Thank you, Tom, for all you've done and all the energy you've invested in making the ISBA an excellent, progressive, highly responsive, all-inclusive, respectful & respected professional association during his tenure there.

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