The Washington State Bar Association is committed to advancing diversity and inclusion within the legal profession and within our organization.
Diversity. Diversity refers to meaningful representation of and equal opportunities for individuals who identify with those groups that are under-represented in the legal profession based upon, but not limited to, disability, gender, age, familial status, race, ethnicity, religion, economic class, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Statewide geographic diversity and area of practice shall also be given consideration.
Inclusion. Inclusion is a value supported by the intentional incorporation of diverse perspectives and practices. It influences the development, evolution and implementation of an institution’s culture, policies, systems and norms.
We operate from an “Inside-Out” philosophy generating institutional evaluation, reflection and change.
Our 2012 Membership Study found that members who identified with one or more diversity groups reported experiencing social, opportunity, and advancement barriers in their professional careers. These barriers included being excluded, misunderstood, offered fewer opportunities, not receiving a raise or promotion and being treated differently.
Informed by the study results the Board of Governors adopted our Diversity Inclusion Plan. The plan reflects the unique roles for which the Bar is positioned as a unified bar: to create and help nurture the conditions that will encourage diverse lawyers to enter, remain, thrive and ultimately to lead the profession and inspire others to follow in their footsteps.
Subtle, unconscious processes and preconceptions influence all decision making, whether it be a decision about litigation strategy or hiring. In turn, the unconscious/implicit biases influence the work of achieving inclusion.
Have questions about diversity and inclusion or the resources on this page? Contact us.
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