Bench and Bar Diversity Project announced

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Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Collins J. Seitz, Jr. announced the Delaware Bench and Bar Diversity Project.

This project, launched in collaboration with the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) and AccessLex Institute, will be led by a steering committee composed of judicial officers, individuals, and organizations working to build and sustain a more diverse Delaware bench and bar.

The Project is the first of its kind strategic effort to address diversity issues in the legal field, a release stated.

Seitz, Reeves

The project will make recommendations that will help attract and retain diverse members to the Delaware Bench and Bar.

“The National Center for State Courts and AccessLex Institute are committing their formidable experience, expertise, and resources to support our project. These organizations have been at the forefront of helping state courts and bars study diversity issues and recommend meaningful steps to address the lack of diversity in the legal profession,” Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Seitz stated.

Founded in 1971 by the Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ), NCSC is the organization that people turn to for authoritative services, knowledge, and information regarding the state courts and their operations. Headquartered in West Chester, Pennsylvania, AccessLex Institute is a nonprofit member organization composed of the nearly 200 American Bar Association-approved nonprofit and state-affiliated law schools. 

 AccessLex has knowledge and understanding of the diversity issues facing law schools and the legal community. AccessLex has been instrumental in helping states and other entities develop pipelines and other initiatives to support aspiring lawyers and law students in becoming licensed members of the legal profession, a release noted.

Seitz continued: “With Supreme Court Justice Tamika Montgomery-Reeves as a co-chair, we are going to study diversity issues in the Delaware legal community from top to bottom. We need to ensure the public is being served by a high-quality legal profession that reflects the diversity of our society. I recognize it will take some time. But we’re excited to get started. I know our effort will make Delaware a national leader in tackling diversity issues and bring us closer to the goal of a diverse and welcoming legal community in the First State.”

Gov. John Carney recently came under fire from a group known as Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware for not nominating a black member to the Court of Chancery after Vice Chancellor  Montgomery-Reeves moved to the high court.

Citizens is a group tied to TransPerfect, a company that went through a dispute over ownership in Chancery Court.

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