By: Chris Fortier
On June 20, 2020, Shelia Costin was sworn in (virtually) as the 2020-2021 Chair of the Diversity Conference. As we progress through the year, let’s take a moment to get to know our chair for this bar year.
1) Tell us a little about yourself, where did you grow up, and how you came to where you are today.
I was born and raised in Altamont, NY, a small village outside of Albany. I received my bachelor’s degree from St. Lawrence University. After spending four years on the Canadian border, I headed south to thaw out and received my law degree from Georgetown University Law Center. I practice in Alexandria, Virginia, with the firm of Holmes Costin & Marcus. My practice is focused on fiduciary litigation, commercial litigation, and adult guardianships, and conservatorships.
2) How did you come to the Diversity Conference?
I became involved with the Diversity Conference prior to its adoption as a conference because I wanted to be involved with an organization whose goal is to promote diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. I was also drawn by the sense of community that I felt. The attorneys involved are incredibly talented and I find that I look forward to each board meeting. I also enjoy working on the numerous programs and forums that the Diversity Conference has to offer all Virginia lawyers.
3) I know you have done a lot with our Annual Meeting program. What is the most unique aspect of putting together such a high-profile program?
I am a bit of a law nerd and working with committee members and speakers to help an idea grow into a program is exciting. We all learn about topics not central to our practice areas when we attend CLEs but I get to learn so much more when I am involved in putting the program together.
4) What is your vision for the Diversity Conference for the year and long term?
This is an opportune time to be involved with the Diversity Conference. This year, the Diversity Conference will host a series of town halls to discuss the issues that are on all of our minds. In addition, I look forward to advancing our proposal to list bias elimination training as an approved form of Ethics CLE for all VSB members. I also look forward to getting to know and working with more of our members throughout the Commonwealth.
Chris Fortier is a member of the Board of Governors for the Diversity Conference and the Multimedia Editor for Invictus. Anything expressed here is the sole opinion of the author and do not reflect the views of the Social Security Administration or the Federal Government.