On behalf of the McGivney, Kluger, Clark & Intoccia, Diversity & Inclusion Committee, we thank Your Honor for taking the time to consider our request to include a diversity, inclusion and elimination of bias continuing legal education (CLE) as part of the mandatory continuing legal education requirement for New Jersey attorneys. Our committee has reviewed the NJSBA’s proposal to require two credit hours of CLE on this subject and wholeheartedly support same.
Our office provides yearly mandatory sensitivity training to our employees to heighten awareness and responsibility for one’s personal actions. We’ve established a D&I Committee to do what we can to ensure equality and acceptance of all in the legal community. However, requiring a mandatory CLE on this subject, as many of our sister states have done, will spotlight the issue on a greater scale.
With the current social climate, it is important to provide reliable education to enrich the bar’s understanding of the importance of respecting one another, showing compassion and empathy, and providing mentorship, especially to those who may have limited opportunities.
In addition to cultivating awareness among members of the bar, requiring a mandatory diversity, inclusion and elimination of bias CLE, will help foster the public’s confidence in the legal system.As officers of the court, it is our responsibility to ensure that everyone is offered a fair hearing. We all have biases, implicit or otherwise, that we need to address and eliminate in order to accomplish this goal. Mandating a CLE in this area is one step towards addressing those biases and will teach counsel how to not only keep those biases out of the courtroom, but out of their personal and professional lives.
We thank Your Honor for your time and consideration of our request.