Philadelphia Bar Association 2016 Bar Leaders Handbook

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Mission Statement

The mission of the Philadelphia Bar Association is to serve the profession and the public by promoting justice, professional excellence and respect for the rule of law. In so doing, the Association strives to foster understanding of, involvement in and access to the justice system.

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

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 Handbook updated as of December 29, 2016.

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