Diversity And The Future Of Law

By Nethani Palmani | Apr 06, 2017 04:59 PM EDT

Its important to avoid the lack of diversity among speakers when planning for a legal conference. (Photo : Alex Wong / Getty Images)

Stanford Law School hosts an event called CodeX FutureLaw Conference every year. Although the purpose of the event is to "spend a day with the community that is shaping the future of law," it seems to be outstandingly inclusive of white and male.

An overwhelming lack of diversity has been noticed often in the team of the people organizing the event, as well as the lack of diversity among the speakers. It was evident especially in 2016, as the Stanford Law School panel conducted a "future mock trial" for a hypothetical legal tech issue whereby the judges and the counsel for the companies comprised entirely of white men.

The core mission of CodeX may indeed be intentional about fostering meaningful dialogue on the rapidly changing landscape of our industry. However, it is disturbing that the conversations are disqualified by its own diversity issues, which are continuing to be so siloed.

In fact, women made up only 35 percent of the speakers and there was even one panel with six speakers consisting of all men, according to Above The Law. The law isn't the only field suffering from the all-white male panel and other diversity issues as there are too many conferences out there whereby racial and gendered minority can't help but to be noticed.

Each time a panel of speakers consisting of a majority of men is identified, it's a reminder that the community has a long way to go before it can achieve meaningful diversity and inclusion. The issues will necessarily need to include those segments of the population that are often unseen and unheard.

While not everyone may be an expert in diversity to designate efforts relating to women and other groups of people, anyone can take tangible action to raise awareness on this. As for now, let's just hope that the future of law isn't made up of a majority of white men. 

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