Updated: Feb. 26, 2024

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.

Link To Join Zoom Meeting

Dial In (Audio Only): 253-215-8782; toll-free 888-788-0099
Meeting ID: 836 3442 8053
Passcode: 565587

If you have any questions related to DEI Council meetings, please email diversity@wsba.org

 

 


Meeting Minutes

Fiscal Year 2024

November 2023

December 2023

 

Fiscal Year 2023

November 2022

December 2022

January 2023

February 2023

March 2023

April 2023

May 2023

June 2023

July 2023

August 2023

September 2023

Fiscal Year 2022

January 2022

February 2022

March 2022

April 2022

May 2022

June 2022

July 2022

August 2022

September 2022

Council Members

2023–2024

Noelle Chung

Viveca Burnette

Lillibel Douglas

Hon. Andrea Jarmon

WSBA Gov. Nam Nguyen

WSBA Gov. Tom Ahearne

WSBA Gov. Brent Williams-Ruth

Michael Rhodes

Miryam Gordon

SaNni Lemonidis

Maria Little

Sharon Sakamoto

Alec Stephens

Christopher Swaby

Council Co-chairs:

Raina Wagner

WSBA Gov. Sunitha Anjilvel

 

Staff Liaisons:

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 diversity@wsba.org.