Judge Valdez emphasizes importance of mentoring diverse youth at Chicago event
On October 7, Diversity & Inclusion and our Chicago office sponsored the Chicago Committee’s event, “The State of the Hispanic Attorney in Chicago,” as part of DLA Piper’s ongoing observances of Hispanic Heritage Month. Lawyers and law students from across the Chicago area attended the program, which featured a panel discussion moderated by the Honorable Maria Valdez. Among the panelists was the Lieutenant Governor of Illinois, Evelyn Sanguinetti. Genhi Givings Bailey and Stephen Schwab (both Chicago), board member of the Chicago Committee, welcomed guests and discussed the firm’s initiatives to recruit, retain and advance diverse lawyers.
Strengthening the diversity pipeline
The panelists addressed a broad range of topics including the importance of mentors and sponsors and ways to respond to stereotyping in the workplace. Each panelist emphasized the importance of strengthening the legal profession’s pipeline to reflect the increasing diversity within the US population.
Introducing Latino youth to the legal profession
Judge Valdez challenged each person in the room to connect, on an individual basis, with a young person, student or young professional and encourage them to explore the opportunities available through a legal career. “Reach out to young Latinos, even before law school, to introduce them to the legal profession,” said Judge Valdez. “It is our responsibility to our communities and our profession.”
The Chicago Committee is a nonprofit organization that seeks racial and ethnic diversity in the legal profession by collaborating with its firm and corporate membership.