Diversity & Inclusion

Blind Spots Seminar
How to Avoid Poor Decisions & Bad Outcomes

November 9, 2015
8:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m. (includes brunch)

Doubletree Suites by Hilton Detroit Downtown-Fort Shelby
525 W. Lafayette, Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 963-5600

Registration is closed

Each day lawyers and judges are faced with making decisions that impact people’s lives and affect our ability to achieve public confidence in the justice system. Reaching the most appropriate, responsible decision requires the right tools to sift through minefields created by the ordinary functioning of the brain. Learning to identify and avoid the common mistakes triggered by unconscious bias is key to improving decision-making.

  • Interactive presentation with Kimberly Papillon, a nationally recognized expert on legal and judicial decision-making, will explore the implications of neuroscience, psychology, and implicit association in the analysis of decision-making.
  • Panel discussion
    • Hon. Victoria A. Roberts
      United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan

      Victor A. Green
      Director of Community Affairs, Wayne State University

      George N. Anthony Jr.
      President, Metro Detroit Chapter, National Organization of
      Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE)

      Timothy S. Cordes
      Cordes Law PLLC

      Kristin Ekkens
      Manager, Inclusion & Diversity, Spectrum Health System

      Moderator: Hon. Cynthia D. Stephens, Michigan Court of Appeals; Co-Chair, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee

Training materials and resources have been developed across disciplines that address reaching better decisions. Join us, whether you are a newly-minted or a well-seasoned attorney, to explore these and gain beneficial insights that will improve your professional and personal interactions.

For questions contact Michelle Erskine at (517) 346-6316 or merskine@mail.michbar.org

Presented in collaboration with the Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Committee, Equal Access Initiative, Committee on Justice Initiatives, Michigan Round Table for Diversity & Inclusion, Michigan Diversity Council, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, African-American Partners Collaborative, Association of Black Judges of Michigan, D. Augustus Straker Bar Association, Floyd Skinner Bar Association, Grand Rapids Bar Association, Incorporated Society of Irish American Lawyers, Ingham County Bar Association, Jackson County Bar Association, Livingston County Bar Association, Livonia Bar Association, Macomb County Bar Association, Michigan Association of Bar Executives, Michigan Council of School Attorneys, Michigan Defense Trial Counsel, Michigan Indian Judicial Association, Michigan Intellectual Property Law Association, Michigan Judges Association, Michigan Muslim Bar Association, Oakland County Bar Association, Referee's Association of Michigan, South Asian Bar Association, Vanzetti M. Hamilton Bar Association, Wolverine Bar Association, and Women Lawyers Association of MI.


Submit a Pipeline Resource

A data collection tool intended to improve State Bar of Michigan resources by gathering information about programs designed to assist students and others considering the legal profession.
Submit Your Pipeline Resource

Diversity & Inclusion Pipeline Programs

Pipeline Programs

Join the Growing List of Pledge Signatories

List Updated July 27, 2015

The State Bar of Michigan actively promotes the importance of diversity and inclusion in the profession. We applaud all who have signed the SBM Pledge to Achieve Diversity and Inclusion and will publicly acknowledge their action.

Former State Bar President Tony Jenkins in a Michigan Bar Journal President's Page quoted an ancient Chinese proverb that says "any journey of a million miles begins with the first step."

Now that we've started the journey, we urge you to join us in this endeavor and to check out who has already signed on by viewing the list of law firms, law schools, bar associations, individuals, and other entities.

Please join us in this very important effort by becoming a signatory to the pledge today!

Reports on Diversity & Inclusion

At the beginning of her term, SBM President Julie Fershtman requested that the Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Committee (DIAC) look at the impact of care giving responsibilities to those working in the legal profession and the following report was developed by the Caregiver Work Group of the DIAC as a result. View the Report

Demographic Trends in Diversity at Michigan's Law Schools and the State Bar of Michigan—This report focuses on the diversity in Michigan's five law schools. It begins by taking a quick look at diversity in the membership of the State Bar of Michigan. Data available from the SBM shows that the active resident numbers of the SBM who have joined the bar in the last 15 years are significantly more diverse than those who joined in prior years. Similarly, female lawyers comprise a greater percentage of those who have joined the SBM in recent years. See the full report . See the appendix .

Report of the Fifth Annual National Survey on Retention and Promotion of Women in Law Firms —October 2010 from the National Association of Women Lawyers, the only national study that annually tracks the professional progress of women in the nation's 200 largest law firms by providing a comparative view of the careers and compensation of men and women lawyers at all levels of private practice, as well as analyzing data about the factors that influence career progression.

Practical Steps for Engaging White Men in Diversity and Inclusiveness Efforts —By Kathleen Nalty the executive director of the Colorado Campaign for Inclusive Excellence.


Blogs & Podcasts

Lawyer to Lawyer: Diversity in the Legal Profession from the Legal Talk Network.

American Diversity Report Blog

Leadership is a Verb Blog offers information on leadership, mentoring, and diversity.


Brunch for Bars, Affinity Bar Update

The Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee and Equal Access Initiative sponsored Brunch for Bars earlier this year to support collaboration between Bar Associations and to expand programming relating to diversity and access issues. See the report for collaboration ideas .


Assessment Tools

Combating "Diversity Fatigue"—Informative article on diversity fatigue, a form of mental exhaustion brought on by constant attention to create or increase diversity in the workplace.

Training Assessment Methods on Cultural Diversity from the Huston Chronicle.


Models & Best Practices

Diversity Training Resources from the small business section of the Houston Chronicle.

Best Practices Standards for the Recruitment, Retention, Development, and Advancement of Racial/Ethnic Minority Attorneys—Committee on Minorities in the Profession, New York State Bar Association.

Proven Strategies for Addressing Unconscious Bias in the Workplace from Cook Ross a nationally recognized, woman-owned consulting firm founded in 1989. Includes best practices and case studies.


Articles & Links of Interest

The Jury Expert—The American Society or Trial Consultants offers articles on bias as well as gender.

DiversityInc—Diversity and inclusion legal issues.

DiversityCentral.com, with its people-centered design and a structural overhaul, exists as a business center for diversity management, building inclusive organizational cultures, creating high-performing diverse teams, and developing individual competencies for a diverse world—we call it "cultural intelligence." Offers various tools, resources, and publications.



The Level Playing Field Institute—Committed to eliminating the barriers faced by underrepresented people of color in science, technology, engineering, and math and fostering their untapped talent for the advancement of our nation.

Center for Legal Inclusiveness (formerly Colorado Campaign for Inclusive Excellence)—Dedicated to increasing diversity in the legal profession and actively recruiting, educating, and supporting private and public sector legal organizations in their own individual campaigns to create cultures of inclusion.

Leadership Council on Legal Diversity. The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity has, since May 2009, organized a committee structure around four key strategic initiatives: Strategy & Innovation, Development, Partnerships & Teams, and Pipeline.


Experts & Consultants

Kimberly Papillion on neuroscience and bias.

S.L. Robins & Associates Diversity and Inclusion—Dr. Robbins does not think of himself as a diversity expert but as a student of human behavior and his years of study of human behavior have led him to the conclusion that "diversity work" is really the work of "understanding human behavior in a diversity context."

Diversity Best Practices—Offers resources, news, and models, as well as consulting.