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Action Plan on Ethnic and Racial Diversity

This action plan is adopted pursuant to the OSBA Policy on Ethnic and Racial Diversity. The specific items are intended to be expansive and not limiting. Collaboration and interaction with affiliates and other organizations is encouraged. The OSBA Membership, Public and Media Relations and Publications Committee is entrusted to  regularly monitor, review and advise the Board of Governors on the progress in meeting the objectives of this Plan.

Objective A: To have the Ohio State Bar Association membership, leadership and staff reflect the ethnic and racial diversity of Ohio lawyers.

1. Membership

Continue to work with the Supreme Court of Ohio in gathering accurate data on the diversity of Ohio lawyers.

Include specific benchmarks on minority members in the association's annual recruitment and retentions plan.

Ask managing partners in large law firms to encourage minority lawyers to join the OSBA.

Develop and implement specific plan to interact with minority students and student associations in Ohio law schools.

Have the president invite the leaders of minority bar associations in metropolitan areas to district meetings.

Have the president invite the leaders of the minority bar associations to attend the OSBA convention.

Have membership and bar services directors attend functions of minority bar associations.

Continually identify minority members to serve on standing and special committees.

2. CLE and other programs

Include minority members in public speaking and presentation skills seminars.

Actively select minority members as speakers for seminars.

Request OSBA BOG and committee and section chairs to recommend minority lawyers as speakers in particular areas of the law.

Request managing partners of large law firms to identify minority lawyers to speak about particular areas of the law.

Develop and regularly present a course for lawyers, judges and staff on the importance of diversity in the profession that meets the professionalism component of CLE.

3. Publications

Continuously evaluate whether all OSBA print and electronic publications to assure that they reflect the diversity of Ohio lawyers and citizens.

Solicit and print articles for publication on the role and importance of diversity in the profession.

Have president's message in Ohio Lawyer reiterate the importance of diversity in the profession each year.

Reprint articles from other publications that may of interest to members on diversity.

Continue to ensure the diversity of the Board of Editors

4. Marketing

Continuously evaluate whether all marketing (text and visuals) of OSBA products and services reflect the diversity of Ohio lawyers and citizens.

Include testimonials for products and services from minority members.

Include minority members in any focus groups or marketing research design and implementation.

5. Leadership

Consider diversity in any presidential appointments to OSBA special committees and task forces.

Consider diversity in any OSBA appointments to affiliate boards and other organizations.

Encourage OSBA BOG to recommend minority candidates for committee and section involvement.

Encourage committees and sections to identify minorities for leadership opportunities and appointments.

6.  Staff
 
When appropriate, advertise staff vacancies to obtain a larger and more diverse pool of applicants.

Consider diversity in staff hiring and promotion.

Sensitize staff to diversity issues though periodic training.

Objective B: To serve as a coordinator, facilitator and a resource to Ohio bar associations, law schools and courts in their efforts to increase the racial and ethnic diversity in the profession.

7. Clearinghouse and resources

Survey and maintain a catalogue of diversity programs relative to the legal profession-who is doing what?

Serve as a link between the metropolitan bar associations, law schools, and the courts on diversity related programs.

8. Facilitation

Assist bar associations and other organizations when requested to coordinate diversity programs and projects.

Continue to assist the Supreme Court of Ohio in its efforts to monitor diversity in the profession.
 
9. Media and public relations
 
Highlight and publicize successful diversity programs in Ohio.

Continually consider diversity in all public relations efforts (recent ONN ads for example).
 
Adopted by the OSBA Board of Governors Nov. 5, 2004.

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