Developing the legal management profession and the professional expertise for our Members

ALA

Diversity Initiative


One of the important goals of The Association of Legal Administrators is to "increase the sensitivity to cultural diversity in the association and in the legal management community." Utilizing this goal, the Columbus Chapter has developed a plan that complements our local bar association's diversity initiative.

 

 

DIVERSITY COMMITTEE
The Columbus Chapter Diversity Committee is chaired by Kristel Sargent of Kooperman Mentel Ferguson Yaross.

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 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to be celebrated on Monday, January 18th

We will celebrate this month on January 18th Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - a date that is observed on the third Monday of January each year, around the time of King's birthday, January 15th.  While the majority of law firms do not designate the date as a firm-paid holiday, the federal holiday nonetheless presents a timely opportunity to celebrate what Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood for.  An organization that values difference is an organization that encourages its members to explore the complexities that are central to personal development and professional growth.  Matters of race, ethnicity, and gender are not always easy to confront.  But they must be confronted for issues concerning them are critical to the health of our organizations and the well-being of society at large.  Being affiliated with a diverse workplace enriches us all.  An acknowledgement of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day provides us with the opportunity to recognize and celebrate that fact.

If you are among the law firms that remain open on the MLK holiday, I encourage you to find a means to spotlight the date as a reminder of your firm's commitment to inclusion and respect for the many differences that define your workplaces.  You can do this by pointing attention to area MLK celebrations, offering a brown-bag that addresses a topic that has a diversity-connection, inviting an area ethnic restaurant to visit your workplace and offer a limited lunch menu, or acknowledging through a regular company communication (such as an internal newsletter) your commitment to diversity.  Further consideration for the future is establishing a variable holiday - a paid holiday that can be selected based on an employee's personal preference.  You demonstrate support of the diverse interests of your workforce by allowing employees to designate a date of their choosing for one of your firm's paid holidays.  Establishing a variable holiday allows you to be responsive to the needs of your clients and remain open for an additional business day, while considering the individual preferences of your employees.

As we begin the new year, be aware of opportunities to celebrate the richness of your workforce.  A timely start is reminding of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


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PAST DIVERSITY COMMITTEE ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS

A diversity awareness seminar was held Thursday, May 16, 2002, from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Columbus Bar Association (CBA). The seminar was open to all Columbus Chapter members and guests from member law firms, as well as CBA staff.

We were fortunate to have Patrice Baughman Borders, Esq., President of  Prevention Strategies LLC in Cincinnati, as the speaker for the diversity seminar. Ms. Borders' is a frequent speaker, facilitator, and trainer on the topic of workplace issues, specifically preventing sexual harassment and the topic of workplace diversity.