June 2016

In This Issue

Introduction

By Chris Ling

The Impact of Implicit Bias on Access to Justice

In the introduction to a recent issue of our Diversity & Inclusion Newsletter, we touched on the subject of implicit bias, highlighting two CLEs on how implicit bias impacts the legal profession and our justice system.  This issue, we further look into on how our biases, both explicit and implicit, impact access to justice issues for vulnerable communities, and how it is important not only to identify and acknowledge our biases, but to deliberately respond to eliminate those biases.

We first turn to our Recommended Reading from Alex Cook, the Training & Development Manager at Central City Concern, a nonprofit agency serving single adults and families in the Portland metro area who are impacted by homelessness, poverty, and addictions.  He is also a public member of our Advisory Committee on Diversity & Inclusion (ACDI).  Alex’s review of Everyday Bias:  Identifying and Navigating Unconscious Judgments in Our Daily Lives by Howard J. Ross reflects on the pernicious nature of unconscious bias—even for those who work every day with issues of equity—during an activity as innocuous as a pickup soccer match.

Unfortunately, we find that implicit bias plays a more sinister role in the criminal justice system.  We spotlight two recent reports on the local and national level that delve into this troubling issue.  First, in February, Multnomah County released a Racial and Ethnic Disparities (RED) report on the demographics of the county’s criminal justice system, which found that Black and African-American individuals in Multnomah County were six times more likely to be in jail than white or Caucasian individuals as a result of their cumulative, disproportionate experiences at seven critical decision points in the criminal justice system.  On the national level, Pro Publica published a report in May identifying “machine bias” in a risk assessment software tool used to assist several state court systems in determining the length and severity criminal sentencing for defendants, by assigning scores representing a criminal defendant’s projected future risk of recidivism on a scale of 1 to 10. This tool, according to Pro Publica, falsely flagged black defendants as future criminals at almost twice the rate as white defendants and mislabeled white defendants as low risk more often than black defendants, suggesting that even computer tools designed and presumed to be “objective” can fall prey to the implicit biases of their human designers.

The common lesson from these articles is that everyone carries their own implicit biases, but there are in fact concrete strategies that we, as legal professionals, can take in order to reduce or eliminate those biases as we work with diverse and vulnerable communities.  If you are interested in identifying your own areas of implicit bias, we encourage you to take one of the many Implicit Association Tests (IATs) offered for free online by Harvard University’s Project Implicit.  Then, we suggest taking the time to read through our Member Spotlight with attorney Hong Dao, a Practice Management Advisor at the Professional Liability Fund.  Before joining the PLF, Hong worked with immigrant and refugee communities in the Portland area through the Oregon Law Center, Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization (IRCO), and the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO).  In her spotlight, she provides valuable insights into some of the persistent misconceptions about representing clients from vulnerable communities, how to start developing cultural competency for clients from different backgrounds, and how private practice attorneys can implement best practices that are attuned to the needs of those communities.  These tips and strategies can be used, regardless of whether you have a criminal versus civil, or transaction versus litigation practice.

In closing, we want to thank all of our readers and encourage you to reach out to us with future topics of interest for our newsletter.  Thank you.

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Member Spotlight

By Chris Ling

Our Member Spotlight for this issue features OSB Member Hong Dao.

mycaseheadshot1Hong Dao received a BA from the University of Denver and her JD from Drake University Law School. She is a practice management advisor for the Professional Liability Fund, providing confidential practice management assistance to Oregon attorneys to reduce their risk of malpractice claims, enhance their enjoyment of practicing law, and improve their client relationships through clear communication and efficient delivery of legal services.
 
Ms. Dao is a member of the Oregon State Bar, Oregon Women Lawyers, the Multnomah Bar Association, and the Oregon Asian Pacific American Bar Association. She is active in the Asian Pacific legal community in Oregon, is fluent in Vietnamese, and is the 2014 recipient of the Oregon State Bar Presidential Public Service Award.
 
Before joining the PLF as a practice management advisor in 2014, Ms. Dao worked as a staff attorney at the Oregon Law Center, presenting community education programs and representing, advising, and advocating for clients in employment, consumer, and housing law matters. Prior to that, she worked as a contractor with the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.  She has also served as adjunct instructor of business law at Portland Community College. 
  • Could you give us some background about your experience working with immigrant, refugee, and ethnic and racial minority communities in Portland before joining the PLF?

I’ll answer this question by going back to my beginning. I came to the U.S. with my family as a boat refugee from Vietnam when I was a little girl, so I have a personal understanding of the struggles that immigrants and refugees face. My family and I came to the U.S. with nothing and struggled with poverty for a long time. My parents brought a few gold bars onto our family’s small fishing boat, which we used to escape Vietnam, with the hope of using them to start our new lives. But after being lost at sea for nine days with barely any food and water left, we were not too worried about the gold. My parents didn’t know what happened to it when our boat finally landed in one of the Philippine islands. We suspected it got swept off the boat along with some of our other possessions when the boat was hit violently by waves created from the rainstorm. We stayed at a refugee camp in the Philippines until we were sponsored by a Catholic church in Oklahoma City.

I grew up in the enclave of Vietnamese immigrants and refugees who came before and after us. Starting in middle school, I interpreted for many members of the Vietnamese community in Denver, Colorado, where we eventually moved to and lived. I interpreted at hospitals, government agencies, schools, and any other place where my father could send me when I was not in school. This continued until I went off to college. It taught me the value of giving back to my community and being there for those who just had arrived and were struggling.

While in law school, I volunteered at a legal clinic in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. The clinic was organized by Boat People SOS and sponsored by the Asian American Justice Center, and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, among other organizations. The purpose of the clinic was to assist immigrants and refugees, many of whom were Vietnamese, with claims arising out of the hurricane, including insurance claim denials. I interpreted for volunteer lawyers and helped conduct client intake. It was heartbreaking to hear clients retell their stories of hope and loss. They all left their homelands with nothing, came to the U.S. to build a new life, and now had to start over a second time. The experience was very personal for any of us who came here as an immigrant or a refugee. I started my legal career with this background.

Before joining the PLF, I was a staff attorney at the Oregon Law Center (OLC). I represented low-income clients, including many immigrants, on housing, employment and consumer law issues. I was also a Fellow of the Asian Pacific Islander Community Leadership Institute (APICLI). The mission of APICLI is to train new and emerging API leaders and equip them with tools to address inequities in the ethnic and racial minority communities across Oregon. As part of the APICLI Action Project, I started a free legal clinic under the auspices of the OLC as a way to reach out to the underserved immigrant and refugee communities and connect them to needed legal services. The clinic was held monthly at Africa House and the Asian Family Center of the Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization (IRCO). I also volunteered for community organizations like Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon and served on the board of the Center for Intercultural Organizing. I am currently on the steering committee of APICLI to select the new cohort. I am also a member of the NAACP Legal Redress Committee.

  • Can you explain your current role as a Practice Management Advisor for the PLF?

As a PMA, I provide confidential practice management assistance to lawyers to reduce their risk of malpractice claims and enhance their enjoyment of practicing law. I help them with setting up their law practice, closing it down, and everything in between. In addition, I present CLEs on practice management topics to bar associations, legal staff, law students, and other groups of lawyers. I’ve met with over 100 lawyers, mostly in offices of solos and attorneys from small firms, since I started working at the PLF a year and half ago. I’ve answered hundreds of phone calls from lawyers on everything related to practice management.

  • Many members of our immigrant, refugee, and ethnic and racial minority communities rely on legal aid or similar public interest organizations to help them with legal issues. However, can you discuss the important role private practice attorneys can play in helping these clients?

Private practice attorneys play a crucial role in helping these clients. While legal aid is a great resource, it is not available to everyone. There are some limits to its services. First, clients have to be financially qualified. Clients with an income above the federal poverty guideline are ineligible for services. Second, legal aid takes cases in only certain areas of law, such as family law involving domestic violence; housing (like repair issues, discrimination, and government housing program); and government benefits. For a complete list of its services, please visit here. Third, legal aid has funding and staffing restrictions that prevent staff attorneys from taking on every eligible client who walks through their doors.

There are many clients whom legal aid simply cannot and does not serve. These clients are not just individuals, but also small businesses and community organizations. They, too, need the assistance of attorneys in private practice to help them with their legal challenges and issues.

  • For attorneys in private practice interested in providing legal services to members of these communities, but who have limited experience doing so, what important issues should they be aware of with regard to those clients’ cultural traditions or languages?

Clients who do not speak English often rely on their family and friends or people in their community to interpret and translate for them. They may bring these untrained or “unprofessional” interpreters to meetings with you. It is fine to have these individuals interpret non-legal information like scheduling appointments. But when legal information or advice is being given, lawyers should use professional or trained interpreters. Services like Passport to Languages, TeleLanguage, and IRCO Language Bank have interpreters available on the phone or in person to interpret for you. It is already hard for a native English speaker to understand certain legal concepts (like a waiver of conflict or summary judgment), so imagine someone for whom English is not her or his first or native language trying to explain those difficult concepts to another person. I remember the high school version of myself interpreting for an “aunt” in the community at her optometrist appointment. I struggled to interpret the word for “astigmatism” because I’d never heard of the word. Even interpreting the doctor’s explanation of astigmatism was challenging.

If you use your own staff as interpreters, make sure they are trained on the proper interpretation standards and etiquette’s. A free training video produced by Clarity Interpreting Services in Central Kentucky is available on YouTube here.

When working with clients from different cultures, lawyers need to make time to learn a little bit about your clients’ backgrounds, cultural norms, and taboos. This is the first step to building trust, and it might help give you a contextual understanding of the clients’ word choice, behaviors, body language, or expressions. Even small subtle gestures could be misinterpreted if not understood from the clients’ perspectives. For example, in some cultures, avoiding eye contact or talking with the head bowed down is a sign of respect and not a sign of suspicion or dishonesty.

Clients’ cultural values can also affect how they react to conflict. Clients from cultures that value conflict avoidance might have a different perspective on how their legal issue should be handled. They might prefer to indirectly address sensitive topics, so it might take many follow-up questions or a few meetings to get the information you need. They may not want to directly confront or disagree with others in a meeting or in conversation. The may nod their head out of politeness when actually they do not agree with what is being said or proposed. They may place a high value on finding alternatives to resolving a conflict rather than litigation. Attorneys should take time to explore different options with their clients and make sure clients are truly comfortable with a particular course of action. Understanding the clients beyond their legal issues will help you see past the stereotypes and better represent their interests.

  • What are some of the barriers and misperceptions that members of these communities face when seeking legal services from an attorney in private practice? How can we address those barriers and misperceptions?

Members of these communities have a couple of misperceptions about our legal profession in general and lawyers in particular. The first misperception is that lawyers are all-powerful beings who can solve their problems right away. They do not know that lawyers are just part of a larger system and that we don’t have the final say in a matter. Part of the problem is that many clients are not familiar with our legal system. Clients may not know that a criminal case is handled differently from a civil case. They may not understand that their civil matter might take longer than a year to be resolved. This misperception can be easily addressed with some education and a conversation about expectations.

Another misperception is that all lawyers are rich so they must all charge a lot of money. My family often wondered why I wasn’t living in a mansion, rather than a tiny apartment, when I started practicing law. It’s hard for them to believe that many lawyers only make a decent living. This misperception is made worse by our fee structures. Clients learn that attorneys might charge $185, $250, or $350 per hour. However, they don’t have a good sense of how many hours it will take the attorney to resolve their matter. They don’t know if they should expect a bill for $500 or $2,000.

Some attorneys are starting to make their fees more transparent up front. Practitioners in immigration law and criminal defense have been charging a flat fee for legal services for a while now. This fee arrangement works for many clients because it’s predictable. They know exactly how much money they need to pay in advance for a particular service. They can then make arrangements (which may include borrowing money from relatives) to come up with the flat amount. Even when the fee is equivalent to being charged $350 an hour, most clients are much more comfortable with the fixed amount because it’s an exact number for which they can budget.

To address the misperceptions that attorneys are rich and powerful beings with magic wands, it’s important to help educate clients about our legal system and process, set expectations, and explore different options to bill for services that clients can understand and are willing to pay.

I mentioned above some barriers to legal services, including language and cultural barriers. Economic barriers such as poverty and lack of transportation also prevent many clients from seeking legal help. There may be mental health barriers, particularly among refugees, asylees and others who came from a country where there was conflict, violence, or war. When encountering those obstacles, attorneys should have resources available to refer clients for assistance. The PLF has a list of community resources available as part of our CLE entitled “Bridging the Cultural Gap.” Go to www.osbplf.org > select CLE > Past > then filter by Access to Justice Credits.

  • As a PMA, what kind of general business strategies and best practices would you encourage attorneys in private practice to consider to more effectively provide legal services for clients from these communities?

If you want to serve these clients, have the proper office systems and setup in place. Hire staff who can speak your clients’ languages. Have professional or trained interpreting and translating services available. Have community resources available for clients with non-legal issues. As I mentioned earlier: educate your clients, set expectations, ask follow-up questions, and be culturally competent. If you want to reach out to these communities, make sure your marketing and advertising materials are in a language they understand (and comport with the Oregon Rules of Professional Conduct). Place those materials in areas where they will be seen or read by clients, such as in their community newspaper or newsletter.

  • What third-party or other outside resources are available for attorneys to help them effectively represent a client from these communities?

The PLF CLE on “Bridging the Cultural Gap” is an excellent resource for attorneys wanting to represent clients from these communities. This CLE is available for free on our website.  Another resource is the MBA CLE called “The Challenges and Rewards of Representing Non-English Speaking Clients,” which can be purchased at the MBA website. Attorneys may also look into getting cultural competence training to better serve their clients.

  • Do you have any final words of encouragement or advice to attorneys who are considering representing clients who are members of immigrant, refugee, and ethnic and/or racial minority communities?

I encourage attorneys of every practice, not just immigration law, to reach out to these communities and offer your much-needed legal services. Some groups are not as vocal as others in voicing a harm they suffered or a legal need they have. Some are parents who lose custody of their children because they are not represented in a divorce proceeding. Some are children being placed in foster care after their parents died without a will even though extended family is available to care for or raise them. Even businesses have legal needs that are not met. Whether an ethnic restaurant needs help navigating the regulatory landscape of getting a liquor license or a small grocery store owner is dealing with claims for overtime or unpaid wages, these small businesses could use your legal services.

I am available as a PMA to help attorneys improve or streamline their office systems and setup to accommodate the needs of diverse clients. I can be reached at 503-427-1467 and hongd@osbplf.org.

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D&I Program Updates

By Chris Ling

2016 OLIO Spring Social

On Friday, April 8, 2016, we held our final event of our 2015-2016 Opportunities for Law in Oregon (OLIO) year, our OLIO Spring Social, celebrating the accomplishments of our graduating D&I and OLIO students before they begin studying for the bar exam.  This year’s event was at Willamette University College of Law, where almost 40 attendees were present as our students received a certificate of congratulations on behalf of the Oregon State Bar.  Attendees also had the opportunity to hear words of wisdom from supporters in the legal community, including Dean Danny Santos from Willamette University, Judge Mary Mertens James from Marion County Circuit Court, Kenny Montoya from Marion County Counsel, and Jacqueline Alarcon, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Diversity & Inclusion.

Spring SocialSpring Social

2016 OLIO Orientation

Our 2016 OLIO Orientation will take place in Hood River on August 5-7, 2016.  This multi-day orientation, which began in 1998, provides a diverse group of Oregon’s first-year law students with the opportunity to interact with each other, and with upper division students, judges and leaders who will serve as their mentors and role models. The orientation curriculum focuses on sharpening existing skills and providing new skills to help ensure success in law school and beyond. You can hear video testimonials from OLIO students and supporters about the importance of this program here.

OLIO

If you are an incoming 1L student interested in participating in OLIO this year, our applications for our incoming 1Ls are due on Friday, June 17, 2016, and can be found on the D&I website here.  The orientation is free for student attendees. Bus transportation to and from the law schools, hotel accommodations, and major meals will be provided.

If you are interested in sponsoring OLIO, you can do so in the following ways.  Individuals should visit the D&I website and clicking the “Donate” button below to make a one-time donation, or a recurring monthly donation!  A list of our individual sponsorship levels can be found here. Firms, businesses, or other organizations should contact Chris Ling at cling@osbar.org.   A list of our business sponsorship levels can be found here.

btn_donateCC_LGSee the below video testimonials from past OLIO students about the benefits of this valuable program.

L&CWillUofO

Grants and Scholarships

The D&I Department awarded a number of grants and scholarships to incoming, continuing, and graduating law students over the last several months.  First, six OSB Bar Exam Grants for the July 2016 Oregon bar exam cycle.  Each grant award consists of a supplemental MBE review course (a $699 value), as well as a reimbursement of $600 of the Admissions application fee.  Second, ten incoming and continuing law students to our three Oregon law schools were also offered a $2,000 D&I Scholarship for the 2016-2017 academic year.  Finally, six prospective law students received our LSAT Scholarship, which provides each student with a comprehensive six-to-eight-week LSAT study course through PowerScore.  Congratulations to all of our recipients!

LSAT scholarship recipients 2016

Judge Angel Lopez with LSAT Scholarship recipients.

Summer Clerkship and Fellowship Programs

This summer, the D&I Department assisted continuing Oregon law students secure legal opportunities this summer in Oregon through two of its long-standing programs.  Under the Clerkship Stipend Program, we provided 10 clerkship stipends to students from our three Oregon law schools.  Our participating employers this summer, which each receive a $7/hr match from the D&I Department to provide a clerkship opportunity to an Oregon law student, include state and federal agencies, public interest organizations, small firms and solo practitioners, and institutions of higher education, and with them, our students will have the opportunity to gain legal experience in the areas of environmental law, energy law, criminal defense, family law, estate and trust litigation, child advocacy, employment and civil rights work, and general civil litigation.  If you are interested in learning more about our Clerkship Stipend Program, please contact Chris Ling at cling@osbar.org.

In addition to our Clerkship Stipends, the D&I Department awarded six Public Honors Fellowships and one Access to Justice Fellowship for this summer.  Each of these fellowships provide a total of $5,000 to a law student to work for a public employer or 501(c)(3) organization in Oregon for the summer.  This year, our students were able to secure employment with state and federal agencies and will gain experience in civil litigation, criminal prosecution, and criminal defense.  If you are interested in learning more about our Fellowship Programs, please contact Chris Ling at cling@osbar.org.

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Recommended Reading

By Alex Cook

RR book coverEveryday Bias: Identifying and Navigating Unconscious Judgments in Our Daily Lives by Howard J. Ross

As I begin to reach the point in my life where muscle and joint pains spontaneously generate without reasonable cause, I’ve decided it’s a good time to start playing soccer.  Over a decade ago, as a viewer, soccer usurped baseball as my favorite sport, but I didn’t have the bravery to lace up cleats and clumsily chase a ball around a muddy Portland park.  After inquiring with a handful of local groups, I found a team that seemed to alleviate many of my anxieties: a co-ed team of individuals who, according to their team photo, were of similar age and physical ability to me.  The excitement I felt with discovering this opportunity was quickly put in check when I became aware that my unconscious biases were taking over when assessing the team photo for ability.

In the book Everyday Bias: Identifying and Navigating Unconscious Judgments in Our Daily Lives, author Howard J. Ross opens with a well-supported case that bias is a necessary attribute of being human.  Ross presents evidence that bias is historically essential, going back to pre-historic scenarios of cave-dwelling humans’ need to react to mysterious sounds in the night; where basic needs such as food and safety were paramount, and decisions had to be made quickly.  The evolution of bias was not ill-intended, but was instead a necessary compartmentalization that evolved to make it easier for our brains to keep us safe.

In the chapters that follow, Ross seeks to provide the reader with a guide to accomplishing the difficult task of better understanding our own biases.  Ross walks readers through several concepts in an approachable manner, using definitions, examples, studies, and personal stories to thoroughly engage readers.  For example, on the subject of confidence bias, Ross provides a few very illustrating statistics.  Notably, a significant majority of students rate themselves as above average, and physicians are four times more likely to think they’ve made a correct diagnosis than who actually do make a correct diagnosis.  As humorous or frightening as those statistics may be, however, what does that say about own confidence biases?  How might it affect our ability understand that we each have biases if our individual starting point is a belief that we are correct?

After walking the reader through concepts, Ross spends some time applying the understanding of bias to real-life experiences, such as the shooting of Treyvon Martin.  When you hear that name, do you have an immediate reaction?  Ross reasons that we take what we hear, filter it through what our brain is able to process, mix in our lived experiences and developed biases, and end up with interpretations – that reaction you may have had a moment ago with the imagery of Mr. Martin’s case.

The ensuing topics presented by Ross concern power and privilege.  Ross defines power as our ability to influence and get things done, and can be displayed in numerous ways.  For example, an individual who is especially persuasive can have power, and so can an individual who has insider information or an individual with a unique and in-demand skillset.  Privilege, Ross explains, is an advantage held by some but not all.  Most of us belong to some privileged groups but not to others.  A particularly illuminating example tells the story of a wealthy black family in the American south during segregation.  The family was not allowed into stores during business hours due to their racial identity, but they received personal invitations from the store owner to shop after-hours due to their economic wealth identity.  This story showed that the family had resource power and economic privilege, but in the perceived hierarchy of privilege, race was most important.

So why are we concerned about power?  Ross presents a great scientific background on what happens in the brain when we feel power.  Mirror neuron activity, which is correlated with empathy, is diminished when we feel power.  Studies have shown power as having a positive correlation with driving infractions, greed, flirtatiousness, and even sex scandals.  In cross-gender studies of sex scandals, there is a common element of power, not gender.  Why, then, are men more likely to be in the newspaper?  It could be some amount of confirmation bias on the part of the reporters, or, as Ross suggests, it could be the likelihood that men are still more likely than women to be in positions of power.  Ross argues that learning from this is essential; if power is related to selfishness and loss of empathy, we need to seek awareness of our own power and what others may see in us so we may preserve our selflessness and compassion.

To assist with acquiring that awareness, Ross dives into how bias, power, and privilege manifest in a few specific industries, most notably the legal world and access to justice.  It’s not uncommon for a person of color to be portrayed as a criminal in the media, whether in fictional productions or news coverage.  After enough repetition, the brain can start unconsciously creating a connection between persons of color and criminal activity, and, like all other humans, lawyers, judges, and juries are not immune to the development of these biases.  A few disconcerting disparities mentioned by Ross include: aggressive details are more likely to be remembered by witnesses when the subject is black; murderers of white people are punished more severely than murderers of black people; death sentences are positively correlated with perception of “blackness”; white men with criminal records have better job prospects than black men without criminal records.

In fairness, my industry of health care is not a beacon of equity.  Health care workers, Ross suggests, are among the most committed to service and equity.  Why, then, are health disparities worse for people of color?  Where progress is being made, it is very slow.  Decades after American segregation, many racial and ethnic communities are still very segregated in areas with poor access to quality health care or fresh and healthy food.

So, what do we do?  Can we accept that our thoughts might not actually be true?  Can we accept that our thoughts might be unconscious self-justified patterns?  Can we accept that what we are thinking is beyond our understanding?

In the concluding chapters, Ross provides suggested frameworks for becoming aware of and reframing our individual and group biases.  In the battle against our biases, neuroplasticity is a huge asset; human brains can form new connections and adapt over time.  A notable example of awareness and reframing comes from the National Basketball Association.  For years, it was discovered that referees had called a disproportionate number of fouls against players of the opposite race.  The first step toward confronting that bias was awareness.  Once referees were made aware of that trend, the foul calls were quickly evened out, showing the massive value of awareness in confronting bias.  Ross then walks through additional examples of individuals and groups shifting from reactionary bias-based decision making to awareness and confrontation of those biases.

In Everyday Bias: Identifying and Navigating Unconscious Judgments in Our Daily Lives, Ross is genuinely engaging on a difficult subject.  It is not easy to be confronted with the idea of being biased, especially on topics where we hold deeply rooted biases for which we have no awareness.  Ross’ real-world examples make the lessons approachable for most readers, his personal examples give the author a tone of humility, and the inclusion of scientific and medical evidence provide an additional form of rationality for the more skeptical reader.

This past weekend was my first soccer game.  Recalling Ross’ frameworks, I had checked my assumptions about the other individuals with whom I would be playing and was able to walk into the experience very open-minded.  I discovered early on that there was a much wider age range than I had originally expected, and the skills were wide-ranging as well.  In fact, my only assumption that came to fruition was in regard to my own actions: I clumsily chased a ball around a muddy Portland park.

Photo for RRAlex Cook is the Training & Development Manager at Central City Concern, a non-profit social services agency providing housing, health care, and employment services in Portland.  At CCC, Alex is an active member of the Diversity Committee and its subcommittees on Training & Education and Integration.  Alex is a native Oregonian and resides in North Portland with his wife, counsel, copy-editor, and Timbers Army ticket-sharer Kristy Cook.  Alex has been a community member of the OSB Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion since January 2016, with particular interests in supporting the educational pursuits of individuals with a desire to reach their highest potential and continue to make Oregon an amazing place to work and live.

 

 

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Specialty Bar News

See announcements and links below for updates with Oregon’s Specialty Bar Associations.

Oregon Women Lawyers

First Generation Professionals Discussion Group, July 1, 2016, more info here.

Oregon Asian Pacific American Bar Association

Oregon Minority Lawyers Association

OMLA Summer Luncheon, feat. Judge Darleen Ortega – June 30, 2016, Willamette University College of Law, more info here.

17th Annual Summer Social and Fundraising Auction, July 28, 2016, more info here.

The IMAGE Program – “Inspiring Minority Attorneys Toward Growth and Excellence”, July 29, 2016, more info here.

Oregon Hispanic Bar Association

OGALLA: The LGBT Bar Association of Oregon

Oregon Chapter of the National Bar Association

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