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Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion and Ethics

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DIVERSITY IN THE LEGAL PROFESSION

Religious Freedom PosterFebruary 24, 2007

Pepperdine School of Law's Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics hosted a conference examining diversity in the legal profession on February 24 on Pepperdine's Malibu campus.

Amidst all of the discussion on the lack of diversity, there has been little consideration of the resources of the Christian faith. Within the United States, African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asians are among the most actively-involved Christians. Many of the greatest leaders in the ongoing fight for equality including Martin Luther King, Jr. and Caesar Chavez drew guidance, strength, and inspiration from the Christian faith.

The conference discussed lack of racial and ethnic diversity in law schools and the legal profession as well as what might be done to overcome it, including using the resources of the Christian faith. People of color who have successfully faced the challenges of law school and the legal profession shared their stories and sources of inspiration to pre-law students, law students, lawyers, law school administrators, professors, and clergy.

Panels and presentations included:

  • The Challenges of Law School and the Legal Profession and the Resources of the Christian Faith
  • Law as a Christian Calling—What does the LORD require of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?
  • Succeeding in Law
    • Getting into Law school
    • Getting through law school
    • Finding a job
    • Success in law practice
    • Racial reconciliation in Christ

Featured speakers included:

  • Raul A. Gonzalez, former Justice of the Texas Supreme Court
  • Jack L. White II, litigation associate with Kirkland & Ellis and former law clerk to Judge (now Justice) Samuel A. Alito, Jr. on the Third Circuit
  • Marchelle Bailey, staff attorney and Womens' BusinessOpportunity Representative for the United States Small Business Administration
  • David Dominguez, Professor of Law at Brigham Young University
  • Jacqueline Wang, attorney at Byrne & Nixon LLP
  • John W. Patton Jr., partner in the law firm of Pasternak, Pasternak & Patton and a licensed minister at the West Angeles Church of God in Christ
  • Sarah Howard Jenkins, Charles C. Baum Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock

For more details, download the conference brochure here.