Diversity & Inclusion

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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.
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Diversity & Inclusion Pipeline Programs

Pipeline Programs

Join the Growing List of Pledge Signatories

List Updated December 7, 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.


Blind Spots Seminar
How to Avoid Poor Decisions & Bad Outcomes

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.

Presenter Biographies
Program Feedback

Check out President Lori Buteweg’s blog post about the program

Lori’s November Bar Journal Article on Bias

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 .


Unintentional Bias


Assessment Tools


Models & Best Practices


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