To examine the historical and current status of minorities in the legal profession, and to make recommendations to the Board of Directors regarding how the bar can take action to enhance employment and economic opportunities for minorities in the profession and to increase involvement by minorities in the bar.
History : Who We are
In 1989, the Diversity in the Profession Committee, formerly known as the Opportunities for Minorities in the Profession Committee, was created by then State Bar President Darrell Jordan of Dallas. Its purpose was to enhance opportunities for minorities in the legal profession and to increase minority involvement in the bar. Just one year after its inception, the State Bar institutionalized the committee as a standing committee, and its members successfully worked with the State Bar Board of Directors to initiate an ethnicity survey of bar membership, create a permanent staff position dedicated exclusively to minority affairs, and approve the support for diversity in State Bar grievance committees.
Building from such a strong foundation of unique ideas and individuals, the Committee was able to continue to turn its goals into reality through projects like 1993's Statement of Goals for the Hiring and Retention of Minority Lawyers, and 1997's Symposium for Excellence in the Profession: Focus on Diversity. Since 1993, however, the flagship project of the Committee has been the Texas Minority Counsel Program.
The TMCP brings minority and women attorneys together with representatives of corporate and governmental legal departments to discuss outside counsel opportunities and earn valuable CLE credit. Since 1995, the TMCP has sustained yearly averages of more than 250 attendees, over 37 participating corporations, and greater than 280 informational interviews. The program is considered to be the largest networking event for minority lawyers in Texas.
The Committee also spearheads the annual Texas Minority Attorney Program, a newly created networking event geared towards minority and women solo and small firm practitioners.
In 2002 the Committee adopted its current name, the Diversity in the Profession Committee, to reflect the changing demographics of the state of Texas. Not lost, though, was the Committee's continual focus on promoting and pursuing new prospects and opportunities for all minority attorneys.
Racial Diversity in the Judiciary
Maintaining Diversity in Texas Law Schools
Minority Representation on the State Bar Board of Directors
Law Firm Diversity
Implemented and Proposed Future Projects
Minority Counsel Program - Annual Conference
Program - Annual Conference
Symposium for Excellence in the Profession
Periodicals and Reports
Annual Report on the Status of Racial/Ethnic Minorities
in the State Bar of Texas (PDF)
Office of Minority Affairs
Office of Research and Analysis