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May 2024 Marks Successful Kickoff for Another Great Year in CLE Offerings

By May 23, 2024News

The Utah Center for Legal Inclusion (UCLI) was able to reach thousands of attorneys both in Utah and nationally through the broad array of CLE offerings in 2023. May of 2024 marks the beginning of UCLI’s offerings in CLE for the year, and has already seen a continuation of the trends set in 2023. UCLI and other partner organizations were able to deliver three great presentations in the month of May.

First, on May 6 UCLI partnered with the Litigation Section of the Utah State Bar, Parsons, Behle & Latimer, and the University of Utah SJ Quinney College of Law to present an “Overview of the Bystander Initiative”. The Bystander Initiative at the S.J. Quinney College of Law is led by Professor Amos Guiora and a team of 10 student research assistants dedicated to the work of criminalizing bystanders and enablers of abuse. The Initiative is undertaking numerous projects including a book, law review articles, and legislative efforts that focus on the role of the bystander and enabler in the U.S. and globally. Acknowledging the entire systemic framework around sexual and other abuse is central to the Initiative’s efforts to prevent and prosecute abuse.

The goal of the Bystander Initiative is to:
– Hold enablers and bystanders accountable
– Work with legislators around the world on criminalizing bystanders and enablers
– Engage in widespread education on the harm caused by bystanders and enablers

This event provided the Initiative a platform to present their goals and research findings to the Utah State Bar at large. Professor Guiora was joined by two of his students who have been instrumental in the Initiative, Anna Hall and Diana Pogosyan. The hybrid event was well attended.

The second event on May 7 was the first session of the UCLI 2024 CLE Series. This was titled, “The Great American DEI Discussion”. This was delivered virtually by UCLI Co-President, Christina and her fellow Parsons, Behle & Latimer Shareholder, Michael O’Brien. The two delivered an in-depth discussion of the ramifications of the 2023 Supreme Court ruling in SFFA v. Harvard/UNC. They also discussed the recent bills discussed and passed in the 2024 Utah Legislative session. The narrative centered around what these decisions and laws do now, and what the potential next steps will be legislatively that will likely affect attorneys and the practice of law more directly. The online audience totalled more than 600 attendees who provided lively feedback both for and against the current state of DEI.

The last event was held on May 20 as part of the annual conference of the National Consortium for Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts. This year the Utah State Courts and the Office of Fairness and Accountability (OFA) were asked to host this national conference. The conference was held in downtown Salt Lake at the Little America Hotel. The conference and Consortium are concerned with studying and furthering diversity and fairness in state and federal courts across the country. UCLI Associate Jon Wayas was asked by OFA Director Jonathan Puente to convene a panel of the Utah State Bar affinity groups to discuss efforts to build inclusion and opportunities for attorneys of all backgrounds in Utah. The panel included Jessica Ramirez, President of the Utah Minority Bar Association, Amber Stargell, Secretary of the Utah Black Lawyers Association, Brit Merrill, President of the Women Lawyers of Utah, and Anaya Gayle, the President of the LGBTQ+ and Allied Lawyers of Utah. The panel gave these leaders a chance to highlight the successful programs they have established to serve their members and the Utah State Bar as a whole. There was also discussion of the challenges they are facing, and how they are working together to find innovative solutions. This was a successful event which provided another opportunity to highlight the important work these groups are doing with a national audience.

This is just the beginning of the UCLI’s 2024 CLE offerings. Our next session will be an ethics CLE on June 25 as part of the Utah State Bar’s “Procrastinators Series”. There will also be a session on August 20 as part of the Utah State Bar’s Virtual Summer Convention. This session will focus on the judicial application and nomination process in the Utah State Court system. We will have more sessions in the Fall, with more details coming toward the end of the summer. UCLI would like to share our deepest appreciation for all participating CLE faculty members and planning committee, as well as to our partners and sponsors for these recent and future CLE events. We hope you will join us in these discussions for the remainder of 2024.

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