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VSB Council to debate diversity initiative

The Virginia State Bar asked for comment on the diversity initiative championed by President Manuel A. Capsalis, and it got it.

More than 60 written comments were sent to Executive Director Karen A. Gould or the VSB’s Virginia Lawyer magazine with cons outnumbering pros by about 3-2.

Capsalis and proponents of the initiative contend that the legal profession can be more respsonsive to society only if it is more reflective of it. “We still have an unsatisfactory number of lawyers of color in positions of leadership on the state and local level” of bar organizations, Capsalis said.

More than 60 written comments were sent to Executive Director Karen A. Gould or the VSB’s Virginia Lawyer magazine with cons outnumbering pros by about 3-2. The diversity initiative has three components: (1)   addition of the promotion of diversity in the administration of justice and the practice of law to the VSB mission statement;

(2)   amendment of the powers of the VSB Council to include encouragement and promotion of diversity in the profession and the judiciary; and

(3)   creation of a Diversity Conference that would have the same status as the VSB Senior, Young Lawyers Local Bar Association conferences, including membership of the chairman of the conference on the VSB Council and executive committee.

Bar Council is scheduled to debate and vote on the proposal Thursday at its annual meeting in Virginia Beach.

By Alan Cooper

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