Codifying its long-standing commitment to diversity in the legal profession, the Boston Bar Association's governing Council has unanimously endorsed a formal diversity policy. In its statement, the BBA reaffirms its belief that a diverse membership and staff are essential for effective participation in the legal community.
The diversity policy was drafted by the BBA Diversity Committee, chaired by J.D. Smeallie of Holland & Knight LLP, and states the following:
"The Boston Bar Association is committed to achieving diversity both at the BBA and in all aspects of the legal community - in law firms, on the bench, in academia, in public service and government, in legal services providers and in corporate and non-profit law departments. The BBA strives to foster an environment where all members of the bar recognize and appreciate differences, and demonstrate respect for one another.
"The differing perspectives, experiences and dynamics found in a diverse membership and staff will enable the BBA to represent effectively the interests and views of the bar as a whole and give it greater impact in the many communities in which members live and work. The BBA is committed to achieving inclusion and diversity of all people, regardless of gender, race, ethnic origin or heritage, religion, class, sexual orientation, age or disability, in all BBA activities, as well as in the general membership, section and institutional leadership and staff. The BBA strives to involve lawyers in projects in the community and to partner with organizations that share this commitment, all with the goal of eliminating barriers and increasing diversity in the Boston legal community."