PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION RESOLUTION ENHANCING STATEMENT OF DIVERSITY PRINCIPLES

WHEREAS, the Philadelphia Bar Association has a longstanding commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion in the legal profession; and

WHEREAS, an inclusive, diverse legal profession brings more varied perspectives, experiences and backgrounds to the practice of law and the administration of justice; and

WHEREAS, creating and achieving diversity and inclusion is an evolutionary process that requires a continued renewal of the Association's commitment to strategies of inclusion; and

WHEREAS, on June 26, 2008, the Philadelphia Bar Association Board of Governors adopted the Statement of Diversity Principles; and

WHEREAS, the Statement of Diversity Principles should be renamed the "Statement of Diversity and Inclusion Principles" to better demonstrate the Association's understanding of, and its commitment to the two separate concepts of diversity and inclusion.

WHEREAS, in the Statement of Diversity Principles, the Philadelphia Bar Association agreed to "Support the diversity goal the American Bar Association adopted, as follows: ‘Goal IX: To promote full and equal participation in the legal profession by minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and persons of differing sexual orientation and gender identities;'" and

WHEREAS, since the adoption of the Statement of Diversity Principles, the American Bar Association amended its goals, broadening and enhancing its diversity mission, replacing Goal IX with Goal III, as follows: "Eliminate Bias and Enhance Diversity. Objectives: 1. Promote full and equal participation in the association, our profession, and the justice system by all persons. 2. Eliminate bias in the legal profession and the justice system." and

WHEREAS, the Philadelphia Bar Association supports the diversity mission stated in Goal III and its inclusion in this Association's Statement of Diversity Principles.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association adopts the enhanced Statement of Diversity and Inclusion Principles attached to this Resolution;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association and the Chancellor shall take steps to publicize the Statement of Diversity and Inclusion Principles to the legal profession and to encourage adherence to them.

PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: September 22, 2014

PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
Statement of Diversity and Inclusion Principles

The Philadelphia Bar Association is committed to advancing diversity and inclusion in the profession, so that all members of the bar can fully participate in all aspects of the profession. This Statement of Diversity and Inclusion Principles evidences a renewed commitment to promoting diversity, a broad concept that includes race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity, marital status, veteran status, parental status, socioeconomic status and our unique attributes, and inclusion, the harnessing of our diversity so that everyone is valued and has the opportunity to fully participate and succeed in the profession.

Increased diversity and inclusion benefits the profession in many ways. For example, increased diversity enables law firms, legal departments, and other legal organizations to better understand their diverse client base, fostering better communication and representation. Continued diversity and inclusion efforts will help to ensure the representation of more varied perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds in the profession, and to create a more equitable and inclusive environment that is critical to the continued success of law firms, legal departments, law schools, and other legal organizations.

Diversity and inclusion can be achieved through initiatives with respect to the recruitment, retention, and promotion of lawyers, irrespective of visible or perceived differences, and through the expansion of recruitment, retention and promotion efforts of racial and ethnic minorities, women, disabled individuals, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender and other diverse individuals. Diversity and inclusion also can be accomplished by training and educating our members, and our current and future leaders.

Creating a diverse and inclusive environment is a long-term commitment to the future of the profession, and achieving diversity and inclusion is a continuing process that requires a steadfast commitment by the bar.

For these reasons, the Philadelphia Bar Association reaffirms its commitment to diversity, and agrees to:

  • Support the diversity goal the American Bar Association adopted, as follows: Goal III, "Eliminate Bias and Enhance Diversity. Objectives: 1. Promote full and equal participation in the association, our profession, and the justice system by all persons. 2. Eliminate bias in the legal profession and the justice system;" and

  • Promote meaningful diversity and inclusion, including increased representation of racial and ethnic minorities, women, disabled individuals, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender and other diverse individuals in law firms, legal departments, law schools, and other organizations in the legal community;

  • Increase growth and promotional opportunities and leadership roles for racial and ethnic minorities, women, disabled individuals, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender and other diverse individuals in law firms, legal departments, and other legal organizations to reflect the increased recruitment, retention and promotion of diverse lawyers; and

  • Provide educational opportunities for all individuals, particularly racial and ethnic minorities, women, disabled individuals, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender and other diverse individuals, to help them prepare for entry into and advancement in the profession.

PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: September 22, 2014