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Diversity in the Legal Profession Law Departments, Firms and the Courts

Total Credits
1.5 - 2.2
CDs/DVDs Only
This course is only available in CD/DVD format.
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Although ABA Resolution 113 urged "all providers of legal services, including law firms and corporations, to expand and create opportunities at all levels of responsibility for diverse attorneys," the legal profession still has not achieved its goal of having a workforce comprised of people of diverse cultures, backgrounds and experiences.

Our panel of judges, corporate counsel and law firm attorneys will discuss the importance of a diverse, inclusive and bias free workplace. The panelists will provide differing perspectives and share their experiences on how to recognize implicit bias, strategies for dealing with instances of bias and policies and procedures that can be implemented to sustain a diverse and inclusive environment.

Lecturer Bios

Hon. Denny Chin

Judge Chin graduated from Princeton University magna cum laude in 1975 and received his law degree from Fordham Law School in 1978. After clerking for the Honorable Henry F. Werker, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York, he was associated with the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell from 1980 to 1982. He served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York from 1982 until 1986, when he and two of his colleagues from the U.S. Attorney's Office started a law firm, Campbell, Patrick & Chin. In 1990, he joined Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, P.C., where he specialized in labor and employment law.

From September 13, 1994, through April 23, 2010, Judge Chin served as a United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York. He presided over a number of notable matters, including cases involving Megan's Law, the Million Youth March, Al Franken's use of the phrase "Fair and Balanced" in the title of a book, the Naked Cowboy, the Google Books Project, and the United Nations Oil for Food Program. He also presided over the trial of an Afghan warlord charged with conspiring to import heroin and the guilty plea and sentencing of financier Bernard L. Madoff.

On April 26, 2010, Judge Chin was sworn in as United States Circuit Judge for the Second Circuit.

Judge Chin has taught legal writing at Fordham Law School since 1986. While in private practice, he provided extensive pro bono representation to the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund. He served as President of the Asian American Bar Association of New York from January 1992 through January 1994. He has served on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations, including Hartley House, Care for the Homeless, the Clinton Housing Association and the Prospect Park Environmental Center. He is currently a Vice President of the Fordham Law School Alumni Association, a member of the advisory boards of the Feerick Center for Social Justice and the Center on Law and Information Policy at Fordham Law School, and a member of the Board of Trustees of Princeton University.

Judge Chin is the recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Award from Princeton University, the Spirit of Excellence Award from the American Bar Association, the Edward Weinfeld Award from the New York County Lawyers Association, the Lifetime Achievement Award from Judicial Friends, the Abely Award for Leading Women and Children to Safety from Sanctuary for Families, the Medal of Achievement from the Fordham Law Alumni Association, and the J. Edward Lumbard Award from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.

Judge Chin was born in Hong Kong.

Gregory A. Markel, Esq.

Greg Markel is a partner in the Litigation Department of Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s New York office. Mr. Markel is a nationally known trial lawyer who concentrates his practice on corporate governance litigation, mergers and acquisition litigation, directors and officers defense, securities litigation and antitrust litigation particularly in bet your company cases.

He has been recognized for years as a leader in the profession. LawDragon magazine recently recognized Mr. Markel as a “legend” and one of only 50 lawyers and judges in the legal profession in the United States who have been named to the Law Dragon 500 in each of the last ten years. He has also received recognition from many other publications including Acquisition International’s 2015’s Most Highly Regarded Litigators, 2013 Lawyers of the Year for Mergers and Acquisition by Best Lawyers, LawDragon’s 500 Leading Lawyers in America, and one of the 100 Securities Litigators You Need to Know, one of the Top 100 Lawyers in New York by Super Lawyers, highly ranked by Chambers for Securities Litigation, Benchmark as a national Litigation Star, for outstanding performance by Best Lawyer’s in America, Legal 500 Leading Commercial Litigators, “Best in Class” in the legal profession by, The International Who’s Who of Commercial Litigators and many others.

He is a member of the Boards of the Legal Aid Society, the New York County Lawyers Association (NYCLA), Junior Achievement of New York and the Historical Society of New York Courts.

Mr. Markel is Chairman of the Center for Corporate Governance of the New York County Lawyers Association. He and Gillian Burns recently received the Burton Award for Distinguished Legal Writing.

Mr. Markel is a graduate of Yale Law School, the University of Michigan with an MBA in Finance and Columbia College.

He is a member of the Business Law, Litigation and Antitrust sections of the American Bar Association; the Federal Bar Council; the City Bar Committee on Securities Litigation; the Securities Industry Association – Compliance & Legal Division; the New York State Bar Association, Commercial Litigation Section, is a Fellow of the New York Bar Foundation. He is frequently called on to comment on legal issues for the Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, CNBC, Bloomberg TV, Bloomberg Radio, The New York Times, Time, Newsweek, The Daily and the Associated Press. Mr. Markel frequently speaks to the press and others on a range of topics, such as director’s and officer’s liability, securities law, commercial litigation, accountants’ defense, law firm management and Internet litigation.

Marla Alhadeff, Esq.

Marla Alhadeff is Deputy General at BNY Mellon . She is responsible for all litigation matters globally and plays a senior strategic role in managing the most challenging, complex and high profile litigation and controversy matters facing the company. In addition, Marla has responsibility for supervising the Technology Legal team, which covers areas involving intellectual property, data governance, privacy, innovation, cybersecurity, sourcing and third party governance. Before joining BNY Mellon in 2008, she was Senior Counsel at Deutsche Bank, where she managed various significant litigation and enforcement matters. Earlier in her career, Marla served as an Assistant US Attorney for the Southern District of New York. She held various leadership positions there, including Chief Appellate Attorney, Deputy Chief of the Civil Division and Chief of the Civil Division. She was recognized with a number of awards, including the Stimson Medal for Outstanding Contributions to the Office of the US Attorney, and the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service. She began her career at the law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton, as a litigation associate. Marla holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from SUNY-Binghamton, and a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School.

Lorie Almon, Esq.

Lorie Almon is a complex and high profile employment litigation attorney who is recognized as a leader in her field. Both Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and Legal 500 identify her as a leading lawyer for Labor and Employment. Ms. Almon was named in 2018 as one of the Nation’s 100 Most Powerful Employment Lawyers by HR Executive. In past years, she was selected by The American Lawyer as one of the top "45 Under 45" women lawyers in The Am Law 200, and was named to the NACD Directorship’s “Directorship 100” list of “the most influential directors, officers, professionals and institutions” in corporate America. In recent years, she has also been named one of the nation’s “Fab Fifty” litigators by The American Lawyer, recognized as one of the top “40 Under 40” lawyers in the United States by the National Law Journal and picked as one of the “500 Leading Litigators in America” by Lawdragon. Ms. Almon serves as Co-Managing Partner of the firm's New York office, is a member of the firm’s Trial Team and also is vice chair of Seyfarth Shaw's national Wage & Hour Litigation Practice Group. Ms. Almon is also a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee and Compensation Committee.

Ms. Almon’s practice is focused on employment litigation, with an emphasis on complex litigation, high profile disputes, collective and/or class proceedings. She serves as lead counsel in discrimination class actions and multi-district cases, chairing teams of attorneys across the country. She also manages teams defending wage and hour claims, regularly representing Fortune 500 companies in litigation brought pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act and state wage payment laws. Her considerable trial experience includes numerous jury and bench trials in federal courts, state courts and before FINRA arbitration panels.

Prior to joining Seyfarth Shaw, Ms. Almon was an Assistant Corporation Counsel in the Office of the Corporation Counsel of the City of New York. In 1995, her first full year of practice, Ms. Almon was formally honored by New York City as "Legal Rookie of the Year" for her exceptional commitment and dedication to her work.

Ms. Almon is a member of the National Board of Directors of Jumpstart, one of the nation's fastest growing and most respected non-profit organizations in the field of early childhood education. She serves as a member of the Board’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. Ms. Almon was awarded Seyfarth Shaw's “Inspirational Leadership Award” in recognition of her commitment to Jumpstart, and to involving those around her in making a difference in the community.

Maria Douvas, Esq.

Maria E. Douvas is Global Head of Litigation and Employment Law for RBC where she manages civil litigation and regulatory enforcement matters for the enterprise, and provides employment law support across the enterprise. Maria joined RBC in 2016 from Paul Hastings where she was a partner in the Litigation Department and global vice chair of its Investigations and White Collar Defense practice. Prior to Paul Hastings, Maria was a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where she was a member of the Securities and Commodities Task Force and the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property group of the Major Crimes Unit. Ms. Douvas earned her J.D. in 1998 cum laude, Order of the Coif, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and her B.A. in 1995 from Columbia University.

Erika Engelson, Esq.

Erika Engelson is Head of Litigation at Deutsche Bank. Ms. Engelson graduated with honors from the Florida State University College of Law in 2002 and earned a BS in Communications, Business from Florida State University. Ms. Engelson started her career working in private practice at a law firm in her home State of Florida, and then moved to a large law firm in New York City in 2005, where she handled a variety of complex commercial and securities litigation matters. Ms. Engelson joined the in-house legal team of Deutsche Bank in 2012, where she also held the positions of Head of Americas Litigation and Director and Counsel, Litigation and Regulatory Investigations, before assuming her current role in 2017.

Riche McKnight, Esq.

Riche McKnight is senior vice president, Deputy General Counsel and Global Head of Litigation at Endeavor (formerlyWME | IMG) in New York. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Policy Analysis from Duke University and a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law. Previously he was a partner at Winston & Strawn LLP as well as Executive Director at Morgan Stanley. He began his legal career as a Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable William B. Traxler, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

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