Introducing new perspectives, generating multiple solutions, developing a better understanding of the world…the benefits of promoting diversity and inclusion in the legal profession are abundantly clear to the ABA. Equally important is safeguarding the rights of all people regardless of race, gender, age and disabilities.
Hackathons used to restore trust between communities
Can computers promote justice? The ABA Coalition on Racial and Ethnic Justice (COREJ) is counting on it.
COREJ is launching a series of hackathons to find technological solutions to ease the conflict that can arise between people of color or those with disabilities and law enforcement personnel.
Solutions range from development of a mobile app to the streamlining of legal processes and procedures.
Recently, more than 200 participants brainstormed in teams of 10 to 12 individuals during JusticeHack Miami. The winners of the competition created Juvo, which means to “provide help” in Latin.
Juvo allows individuals who might be fearful of talking to the police, such as immigrants, the ability to anonymously report an incident or speak with a local officer.
The next Hackathon is scheduled during the ABA Annual Meeting this August in New York.
Spanish-speaking residents tune in to learn rights
Avoiding fraud when buying a home, renewing a green card and understanding minimum wage laws – these are among the topics that have been featured on Know Your Rights, a weekly television series for Spanish-speaking residents in Chicago.
The program, sponsored by ABA’s Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities with Univision Chicago, has been on the air for two years.
Spanish-speaking attorneys address topics that have been in the news or field questions from viewers and social media.
Immigration attorneys staff phone bank
Recent concerns regarding Executive Orders on immigration, deportation and travel prompted ABA’s Hispanic Commission and Univision Chicago to partner on a phone bank to disseminate information.
For four hours, attorneys answered questions and identified resources for the Spanish-speaking community in the Chicago area.
ABA’s Commission on Immigration, the Center for Pro Bono and the Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants also collaborated on the project.
Future phone banks are being planned in other Univision markets throughout the country. Those interested in organizing a phone bank in their community are encouraged to contact the Hispanic Commission.
Judicial Clerkship Program
The Judicial Clerkship Program introduces diverse law students from around the country to judges in hopes of educating the students about the life-long benefits of a judicial clerkship.
The program also encourages judges to consider students of color whom they otherwise may not have considered for a judicial clerkship.
The three-day program allows students to explore legal issues, conduct legal research, prepare legal memorandum or briefs and defend their positions to students and judges.
The result is a positive modification of views and expectations from law students who otherwise might not consider a judicial clerkship and judges who might not have recruited clerks from certain schools.