Diversity Programs

The CBA is committed to fostering diversity in the legal profession and offering members opportunities explore and embrace the differences among us. Diversity is an including concept and encompasses race, color, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age disability, and many other aspects of diversity.

"Greater diversity in the work place enriches our profession, and mirrors our community," said CBA 2005-06 President Michael Hyman. "We as a bar, must do more than to recognize diversity’s virtue and inherent value, and we must do more than to recognize that there is a problem."

Current programs include:

Diversity Initiative

The CBA's Board of Managers passed the 2006 Diversity Initiative on March 21, 2006. The document requires signatories, who are law firms, corporate and public interest law departments, and government agencies, to: (1) adopt general principles of inclusion and diversity in employment practices; (2) pursue goals for hiring, retention and promotion of minorities; and (3) participate in programs to measure their progress in achieving these goals.

Alliance for Women’s Call To Action

In early 2005, the Alliance for Women invited Chicago law firms to join its "Call to Action," a project to promote women's leadership in the legal profession. The Alliance realized that without a focused effort from the leadership of law firms, the progress of women into leadership positions in the legal profession would remain immaterial. To date, the "Call to Action" counts 48 law firms and corporations in Chicago that have signed this pledge - a major step forward to improving Chicago’s percentage of women in leadership in the legal profession.

Breaking Barriers and Building Bridges

This unique, annual conference provides women and minority lawyers with specialized skills training; strategies; resources and practical guidance for success; and the opportunity to establish networks with leading lawyers. "Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges" also highlights the achievements of women and minority lawyers, many of whom serve as inspirations and role models in the community. Conference is held annually at the CBA Building.

Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession

A joint committee of both the CBA and the Young Lawyers Section that strives to build a strong professional and social network for minority attorneys as well as develop community outreach programs to better serve our community.