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The SCCBA has a long tradition of promoting diversity and full participation in the legal profession.

It formally began over 20 years ago in 1989 when the Board of Trustees approved trustee positions for each of the Santa Clara County minority bar associations and minority attorney committees of the SCCBA.  Since that time, the SCCBA has developed numerous programs and events designed to promote full participation of minority attorneys in the legal profession and in the SCCBA.  More detailed information about the following programs can be found by clicking on one of the programs or events below.

Bay Area Minority Summer Clerkship Program

BAMSCP, implemented in 1990,  places first year law students for summer clerkships with bay area legal employers. These first year minority law students gain experience in law firms they might not otherwise be able to access.  The program's most important objective is to increase the number of minority attorneys in the hiring pipeline, giving them a better opportunity in subsequent years to be competitive for second year clerkships and post law school employment.  If you are an employer and interested in participating in the program, contact the SCCBA DIversity Coordinator.

Barristers' Leadership Program
In 1994, the SCCBA established the Barristers’ Leadership Program, which is a yearly, ongoing program. The program is designed to prepare new attorneys to assume leadership roles in the SCCBA; serve as a pipeline for diversity within the SCCBA leadership by encouraging and soliciting minority participants in the program and to provide an opportunity for new and young attorneys to strengthen their leadership skills to enhance their law practices and participation in the community. Since its implementation 13 years ago, over 120 new lawyers have completed the program, many of whom have served the SCCBA in important leadership positions. As an example, six have served as presidents or other elected officers of the SCCBA during the last 13 years.  Watch for the announcement each spring of the application period if you are interested in participating.  For more information, contact the SCCBA Diversity Coordinator.

President's Blue Ribbon Commission on Diversity
Established in 2006, the purpose of the Commission was to study issues within the region and identify programs from across the State and Nation to formulate an indigenous solution to the unique hurdles facing the legal profession in Silicon Valley to make the legal profession reflect the changing demographic of our society and therefore the clients lawyers serve.  The culmination of the 2006 Commission’s work was the publication of a 60 page report, including recommendations addressing these three areas that focus on the organized bar, law firms and law schools.  Complete Commission Report.

Unsung Heroes' Reception
Each year the Minority Access Committee chooses four individuals or entities to honor at a reception held each fall. This event was initiated in 1994 to recognize minority attorneys who have blazed a path for other minority attorneys in our community. Nominate for the award:  If you know of an individual or organization that should be considered for such an honor, please submit that individual or organization's name, and a brief written statement in support of your nomination to Irene Cortez, SCCBA staff liaison at on or before May 11.

Summer Associates' Mixer

Each summer in July the Minority Access Committee sponsors an after work "mixer" for summer clerks of law firms in the Silicon Valley. The Mixer is generally sponsored by a law firm in Palo Alto and held at a local law firm.  The law firm of Fenwick & West has been sponsor of the Mixer for the past three years.

Diversity Committee
The SCCBA was one of the first voluntary bar associations (along with the Bar Association of San Francisco) in California and the Country to establish a minority access committee. The Committee, created in 1991, was charged with increasing participation of minorities in the SCCBA.  The Committee oversees the activities listed here, except the Barristers' Leadership Program.  The Committee also serves as a means of communication and cooperative efforts between the local minority bar associations as representatives for each of the minority bar associations serve on the Committee.  If you are interested in participating on the Committee, click on the Committee name.








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