submitted by Melinda Bowen, UCLI Executive Director
Welcome to the 2020 edition of Mosaic!
I had the good fortune to become UCLI Executive Director in August, and I am incredibly grateful for the chance to be part of this organization, and for the chance to open this annual newsletter. 2020 has been a memorable year, to say the least. Unprecedented circumstances have created unprecedented challenges. Individually and collectively, we’ve faced a global pandemic, the related economic downturn, along with extreme weather events, an awakening surrounding racial justice, and much more. At the same time, difficult times have shown people’s humanity and fortitude. Constant change has prompted creativity and innovation. And uncertainty has revealed our ability to adapt and progress.
For the UCLI team, the events of this year have highlighted a message that is central to our mission: We all need each other. Keeping this mantra in mind, UCLI has moved forward in developing its key programs, with the hope of creating and cultivating community, even if we must do so in new ways.
Despite the whirlwind of 2020, fifty-three legal employers joined us for this inaugural year of the UCLI Certification Program. Attorneys and leadership at these firms and organizations came together and joined UCLI in assessing their own environments and considering ideas that can build better workplaces for all attorneys throughout the state. UCLI also launched its pipeline program titled Promoting Legal Education to Diverse Groups Everywhere (PLEDGE), which aims to serve students around the state through educational outreach, mentoring, and financial assistance. Working closely with teachers, students, attorneys, and other community partners, UCLI is laying the groundwork necessary to make our profession more accessible, representative, and inclusive. In addition, UCLI volunteers have rallied behind community causes in particular need right now, bringing skills and resources to serve the state and its most vulnerable populations. In short, although COVID-19 has taken a lot from many of us, it has not eliminated our ability to connect and serve.
On behalf of the UCLI team, thank you for the support you show for each other and for UCLI’s mission. UCLI hopes to create a climate where everyone can create a home in Utah’s legal profession. We all need each other in this effort, and we each have a role to play in improving our profession. I am fortunate to have a front-row seat as I watch so many of you embracing opportunities to connect and serve. Thank you for using your time, talent, and other resources to advance the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. I look forward to working with all of you and witnessing ongoing progress as we continue to take care of one another. I wish each of you the best this holiday season and into the new year
UCLI Executive Director