Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council
The purpose of the Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Council is to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession and legal system and address the problems of bias, systemic inequities and underrepresentation in the legal profession.
The DEI Council was formerly known as the Diversity Committee. The change was approved by the Board of Governors in July 2022. The change of becoming a council broadens the membership and allows WSBA members with pro bono status and judicial status as well as law students, staff and faculty and members of the public. To learn more about the specific work we do, please read the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Council Charter.
DEI Council Responsibilities
- WSBA At-Large Governor Position. Under the WSBA Bylaws, the DEI Council is charged with reviewing applications for the At-Large governor position and then forwarding at least three candidates to be on the ballot for an election of all members eligible to vote. The candidates should have the experience and knowledge of the needs of those members whose membership is historically underrepresented in governance or who represent some of the diverse elements of Washington citizens. The purpose of the At-Large governor position is to ensure that the Board of Governors will be a more diverse and representative body.
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion CLEs. The Council works with the WSBA's Equity and Justice team and Continuing Legal Education team to develop free CLEs for all members that focus on ethics and equity.
- Promoting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Bar News. The Council submits Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion focused content and input to Bar News staff and the WSBA Editorial Advisory Committee.
- ARC Reception. The Council hosts an annual welcome reception for students in the Academic Resource Center (ARC) at Seattle University School of Law. SU Law recognized the importance of creating this admissions program to provide access to legal education and support for applicants from underrepresented communities. Applicants who have not been in an academic setting for a number of years; have been culturally, economically, or historically disadvantaged; have learning or physical disabilities; and have indicators that show the applicant can compete in law school are considered for this program.
FY 2024 Projects
The DEI Council's substantive projects are split into workgroups and subcommittees below.
- Pathways Into the Profession. This workgroup considers how people from communities that are marginalized and underrepresented enter and stay in the legal profession with particular focus on diversity pipeline and mentorship programs. This year, the subcommittee will convene a statewide summit to create connections between programs; identify ways to coordinate people between different programs; identify gaps in diversity pipeline programs across the state; research, highlight, and expand support to nontraditional pathways into the profession; consider ways to diversify and shift narratives about the profession to be more inclusive.
- Diversity and Inclusion Plan. This workgroup is tasked with research, outreach, and drafting a new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan for the WSBA to replace the 2013 Diversity and Inclusion Plan. This coincides with a Membership Demographic Study, which assesses the composition and experiences within our membership. This group will assist with outreach to key groups and drafting an updated DEI strategic plan to present to WSBA’s Board of Governors in September 2024.
2023-2024 Meeting Dates
DEI Council meetings are scheduled for noon–1:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month, unless otherwise noted.
Dial In (Audio Only): 253-215-8782; toll-free 888-788-0099
Meeting ID: 836 3442 8053
If you have any questions related to DEI Council meetings, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fiscal Year 2024
Fiscal Year 2023
Fiscal Year 2022
Hon. Andrea Jarmon
WSBA Gov. Nam Nguyen
WSBA Gov. Tom Ahearne
WSBA Gov. Brent Williams-Ruth
WSBA Gov. Sunitha Anjilvel
Diana Singleton, Chief Equity and Justice Officer
Saleena Salango, Equity and Justice Lead
Help advance WSBA's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession. Learn more about joining the WSBA DEI Council by emailing email@example.com.