On June 9, the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion in partnership with the Utah State Bar, Well-being Committee for the Legal Profession (WCLP), Lawyers Helping Lawyers (LHL), and LGBT and Allied Lawyers of Utah (LALU) hosted a CLE on inclusion in our legal field titled “Inclusion and Identity: How We Welcome Each Other”. The CLE was hosted at the Utah State Bar in which three sets of panels discussed themes such as LGBTQ+ perspectives in the legal field, how to treat each other inclusively, and how to hold our courts to our definition of justice. A CLE that was full of raw emotion because of shown hardships, and showcased a common theme of bettering our legal field for future generations! Having a diverse crowd of attendees at the CLE was amazing. A crowd of attendees that was partially in-person and partially on zoom was a bit challenging, but we managed to pull through– kudos to the Bar’s tech and IT team for helping make this multi-platform CLE a reality. Having a small breakfast at the start of the CLE was a great opportunity for networking, and it was incredible seeing our colleagues interact with each other. After breakfast, we had the honor to listen to three incredible panels.
Panel One – An Opening Panel Dialogue about Belonging and the Barriers to Being Good Allies
In the first panel at the CLE, we heard from four outstanding LGBTQ+ legal professionals. Moderated by Martha Knudson and featuring Chris Wharton, Jess Causer, Dani Hawkes, and
Maya Anderson, the panel was full of genuine emotion and full of inspiration. The panelists discussed unfair treatment in the workplace and how their personal life intersected with their legal career, in sometimes derogatory forms. The panelists had discussions in which they were vulnerable and upfront about the frustration that they have had to endure. It was clear that these professionals love what they do and presented in order to help the field to which they are dedicating their time to. Thank you for sharing your experiences and struggles.
Panel Two – Our Duties of Professional Conduct and Standards of Professionalism: A Panel Presentation on Current Rules and Possible Improvements to Duties Owed
In our second panel, we heard from experienced public servants in both the legal and analytical sectors of the law. Those outstanding individuals were Paul Burke, Jennifer Yim, and Chris Warton – with Michelle Oldroyd as moderator. The panel touched on the topic of how current rules and procedures could be improved and what true justice looks like; a conversation that is becoming increasingly important because of how we can help transform our contemporary legal system. Thank you for sharing your expertise in the legal sector and your thoughts on how to improve this field.
Panel Three – A Summary Panel Session on Best Practices and Practical Skills to Employ Moving Forward
In our closing panel, we heard from LGBTQ+ colleagues on best practices and action towards interacting with our LGBTQ+ colleagues. The incredible panelists included Samantha Taylor, Katie Woods, Jesse Nix, and Judge Jeanne Robison, with Kate Conyers moderating. In this discussion, we understood how pronouns should be treated in a professional manner and other best practices. People in the room actively learned how to change their current language to become more inclusive. Thank you for sharing words of wisdom around how to better our professional environment.
Thank you to all the wonderful organizations and individuals who made this event a reality and to all the attendees. Special thank you to all the staff that helped with the tech and IT portions of this CLE. Thank you to Parr Brown Gee & Loveless for the buffet and your generosity. If you are interested in attending any future Utah Center for Legal Inclusion events, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at . It would be an honor to have you at any of our upcoming events!