Each autumn marks a return to the familiar rhythms of our own busy schedules. Students return to school. Employees return to work following summer holidays. New schedules are confirmed and plans are made. For law students everywhere, the fall brings with it the start of a new interviewing season for potential employment during the school year and coming summer. It’s a time when many students are focused on polishing their resumes, sharpening interview skills, and putting their best foot forward with a new group of potential employers.
However, for many law students, the fall interview season will be marked with anxiety and a lack of confidence regarding how to convert a job interview to an actual offer. To the rescue, MCCA® has enlisted the advice of several people of color who, in addition to being law firm partners, also have recruitment and hiring responsibility at their firms. They offer a variety of candid suggestions aimed at helping minority law students in particular to prepare for and successfully navigate the job interview process.
Each fall, lawyers everywhere also mark the start of a new docket for the U.S. Supreme Court. As the court prepares to hear a new round of oral arguments in a variety of key cases, I cannot help but reflect upon the importance of the affirmative action decision issued in June of this year. The court acknowledged this nation’s compelling interest in advancing a diverse student body and training future leaders who reflect the rich mosaic that is America. To help place the decision in perspective, MCCA turned to several leading lawyers to solicit their feedback on the affirmative action case. It’s an article you are encouraged to read and reflect upon for the broad impact of this key Supreme Court ruling.
Although the ruling is definitely one to celebrate, opponents of the decision are hard at work seeking to overturn the progress our nation is making, so we who seek to advance diversity must resolve to do better! Fall is a perfect time to review and renew diversity goals for the coming year. Work smarter. Lay the groundwork now to build solid initiatives that will yield positive results in the spring and coming year.
All good diversity plans start with an honest baseline assessment of where you are in order to chart a path for where you want to go. To accomplish this, you’ll want to be sure to check out the groundbreaking diversity scorecard article that was designed to allow readers of Diversity & the Bar to do a self-assessment of their organization’s diversity programs. In addition to completing the self-assessment, you’ll also want to check out the wealth of diversity resources and research offered for free via this web site. These planning tools should enable you to jump start your diversity efforts and make strides for your organization.
Veta T. Richardson
From the September/October 2003 issue of Diversity & The Bar®