MBA Commitment to DiversityThe MBA Equality and Diversity Committee works to promote equality in the profession and justice system and identifies ways in which the MBA can promote diversity in the practice of law.
MBA Statement of Diversity PrinciplesThe MBA invites you to sign on to the Statement of Diversity Principles. The statement was adopted by the MBA Board in April 2009. It presents an opportunity for all legal employers - law firms big and small, governments, businesses, nonprofits and everyone else - to publicly acknowledge their commitment to developing the diversity of the legal community in Oregon. The statement is offered as a vehicle to continue and expand upon our conversation about diversity in the bar - diversity as an encompassing idea, important to all of us.
Sign the Pledge
Click here for a printable form. Please send a copy of your signed statement to the MBA. Click here to sign online.
Who has Signed the Pledge?
Click here to see who has signed the Statement of Diversity Principles
Special thanks to Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt and Stoel Rives for their generous donations, which covered the printing and mailing costs of the statement.
Message from Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas A. Balmer
Oregon, like other states, has a mixed record on issues of diversity, equality, and inclusion. At statehood, blacks were expressly excluded from Oregon, and the formal discrimination against Japanese-Americans during World War II and less formal prejudice against Hispanics and other minority communities have been a part of our history. Yet, in each generation, there have been lawyers and other community leaders who have also spoken out in favor of equality, diversity, and reconciliation.
Today, Oregon is more diverse than ever. And Oregon lawyers--through the MBA's Equality and Diversity Committee, minority lawyer associations, and specialty bars--continue to work towards the goals of inclusion and participation. From encouraging minority law students through OLIO to mentorship programs that enhance career development to working towards a more diverse bench, Oregon lawyers have been in the forefront of community efforts to recognize the benefits for society as a whole when we celebrate and make use of the talents of all of us.
I applaud the work of the MBA on these important issues and urge you to support the efforts of the Equality and Diversity Community. The legal community benefits tremendously from a culture that embraces the contributions of all of its diverse members.
Links and Useful Resources
- MBA Equality and Diversity Committee Charge
Making the Case for Diversity article from OWLS AdvanceSheet Winter 2012
- Report of the Oregon Supreme Court Task Force on Racial/Ethnic Issues in the Judicial System
- 1998 Report on Gender Fairness in the Judicial System
- Oregon Supreme Court Implementation Committee: A Commitment to Fairness January 1996 Progress Report
- 2001 OSB, MBA and OWLS Convocation on Equality Manual
- OSB Report on Access to the Courts by People with Disabilities