What’s your favorite thing about DAYL? My favorite: DAYL represents the interests of all young lawyers. DAYL’s diverse membership enables it to be: (1) encompassing, offering a wealth of unique programming, learning, and leadership opportunities; and (2) inclusive, encouraging active participation and involvement from all of its members.
Diversity generates health, wealth, and wisdom for DAYL and its members. To borrow from the reasoning of Judge Patrick E. Higginbotham, it does so in three important ways. First, diversity “increases perspective” and therefore improves the quality of DAYL’s events and programs. Second, diversity prepares DAYL’s members to be “professionals” exposed to different viewpoints and who are honing the skills needed to excel in a global marketplace. Third, diversity promotes “civic engagement” by fostering effective participation of all DAYL members. Cf. Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, 758 F.3d 633, 643 (5th Cir. 2014).
This year, DAYL has made important updates to its Judicial Intern Program in order to promote increased participation from all law students. Its Judicial Intern Committee, comprised of Dennis Siaw-Lattey, Joshua Sandler, Andy Jones, Chalon Clark, Helen Hutton, and Christina Mullen, has implemented a sweeping updated procedure for securing law student applications. It has done so with insight and support from Judge Martin Hoffman and Judge Eric V. Moyé. The Judicial Intern Committee has contacted hundreds of law student groups at over 20 law schools, encouraging law students to participate in this year’s Judicial Intern Program. As a result, DAYL has connected with previously unreached pockets of law students, including even more law students from traditional minority groups.
The DAYL’s Lawyers Promoting Diversity Committee, comprised of Ann Chao, Nnamdi Anozie, Crystal Moore, and Terry James, is implementing groundbreaking programs in 2015. On Saturday, February 7, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. to 1 p.m., they hosted “The Check-Up” at UNT Dallas College of Law. During The Check-Up, young lawyers and professors taught law students how to succeed during their 1L spring semester and provided pointers for getting better grades or keeping high grades.
DAYL also plans to reinstitute its Diversity Symposium in 2015. The Symposium will feature panel discussions from several of Dallas’s leading business leaders and corporate counsel. During the Symposium, DAYL’s Lawyers Promoting Diversity Committee hopes to unveil an updated Statement of Diversity Principles for use with participating Dallas law firms.
Dallas has become a major global city, with surging economic and cultural growth, whose “tomorrow is today.” In assessing how to best serve Dallas and its young lawyers, we should remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s call to address “the fierce urgency of now.”
Today’s Dallas operates increasingly less in a smoke-filled room. Instead, it is fueled by people from various backgrounds and life experiences who contribute to the maverick mentality that makes Dallas shine boldly. As with DAYL’s other strategies to improve the lives of young lawyers, DAYL is not acting with “the tranquilizing drug of gradualism” when it comes to diversity, but instead is taking a vigorous approach.