UCLI is committed to inspiring and empowering students with diverse backgrounds to pursue legal education and careers. To that end, UCLI has developed a comprehensive education and mentoring plan that serves diverse students in achieving academic and professional goals in the law, beginning in K-12 schools and continuing through undergraduate institutions and law schools. The committee supports and enhances programs serving students in K-12 schools, universities, and law schools, in an effort to introduce students to legal principles and practice, to connect students with financial and other resources, and to provide meaningful mentoring opportunities.
UCLI’s Co-Presidents Kristen Olsen and Melinda Bowen lead UCLI’s Mentoring Task Force utilizing a team approach that provides each mentee/student with multiple mentors/advisors, who, in turn, facilitate relationships that can help students and lawyers at different stages in their educational and professional journey. To volunteer as a UCLI mentor, please enroll here. To become a UCLI mentee, please enroll here.
Committee Chairs: Grace Acosta & Cliff Parkinson
UCLI’s Community Outreach Committee will build partnerships with local businesses and chambers of commerce to raise awareness and build support for legal inclusion efforts. The Outreach Committee will also partner with community groups and organizations serving diverse and marginalized populations in an effort to develop more effective programs and plans that meet the legal needs of diverse community interests. Through these efforts, UCLI aims to (i) ensure that all Utahns understand and trust Utah’s courts and justice system, (ii) increase proximity between lawyers and diverse populations in Utah, and (iii) amplify access to justice efforts around the state.
Committee Chair: Jacey Skinner
One of UCLI’s key missions is to support and encourage professional advancement for diverse attorneys. As a continuation of the mentoring efforts developed by the Education Committee, UCLI is developing an initiative that supports attorneys by providing mentoring and advancement opportunities from the time an attorney enters the legal profession in Utah and throughout her or his legal career.
As a particular area of focus, UCLI will promote equity and inclusion on Utah’s bench by identifying and preparing qualified judicial candidates with diverse backgrounds and assisting the candidates during the appointment process.
Committee Chairs: James Sorenson and Artemis Vamianakis
UCLI’s Organizational Inclusion Committee works with attorneys, legal employers, and Utah’s business community to develop programs, including a UCLI Certification Program for legal employers, to ensure inclusive work environments, satisfy client diversity requirements, and provide relevant training. UCLI will provide training programs for attorneys and legal employers that address topics such as recognizing implicit bias, fostering inclusive workspaces, and recruiting, retaining, and promoting attorneys with diverse backgrounds. Additionally, UCLI will assist with training and programs for the judiciary to help address issues specific to potential biases on the bench.
Committee Chair: John Baldwin
UCLI’s Tracking Progress Committee works with the Utah State Bar and other partners to gather reliable data reflecting the current demographics of Utah’s legal profession and track the progress of inclusion initiatives over time. The committee has begun developing surveys of lawyers, institutions, firms and groups with legal departments to provide a baseline of current diversity and inclusion efforts to recruit, retain, and advance diverse attorneys. The committee works with representatives of the affinity groups, along with a representative of the Utah Disability Center, to ensure the survey requests information that will be helpful to all groups involved.
Committee Chair: Annette Jarvis
UCLI’s Development Committee oversees fundraising efforts to ensure the long-term sustainability of UCLI’s projects and operations.