Tag Archives: Diversity Conference News

Doris Henderson Causey Receives the Clarence M. Dunnaville Jr. Award

Doris Henderson Causey, managing attorney of the Richmond office of the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society, has been awarded the Clarence M. Dunnaville Jr. Achievement Award, sponsored by the Diversity Conference of the Virginia State Bar. The award honors a lawyer who exemplifies “…the conference’s goal of fostering, encouraging, and facilitating diversity and inclusion in the bar, the judiciary, and the legal profession.”

In 2017, Causey made legal history in the Commonwealth when she was inducted as the Virginia State Bar’s first African American president, and first president from the legal aid community.

Throughout her legal career, Causey has made service a priority, both in her profession and for the legal community. Causey has provided many years of service on the VSB’s Executive Committee and Bar Council, as well as on the Old Dominion Bar Association’s Executive Committee, and as secretary of both the Old Dominion Bar and of the Hill Tucker Bar, Richmond Chapter.

At the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society, Causey works to meet the needs of the underserved, delivering quality legal services to low income individuals and communities, while advocating for the protection of civil and human rights in the Commonwealth.

In her nomination letter, Carole H. Capsalis of Caulkins & Bruce, PC in Arlington noted, “In her year of service as the 80th president of the Virginia State Bar, Doris worked tirelessly to promote the needs of the legal aid community, promoted diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and in the selection of Virginia attorneys to serve on Bar council, committees and local bar. She helped raise awareness of the access to justice gap, and promoted availability of legal services to all, and especially those whose incomes fall below the poverty line.”

The award, named after Clarence Dunnaville, the noted Virginia attorney, civil rights pioneer, legal reformer, author, and justice activist, will be presented by the Diversity Conference at the Annual Forum on Diversity, currently scheduled for the fall of 2020.

Justice Powell to Keynote Diversity Conference Forum at UVA

Newly appointed Justice Cleo E. Powell, an alumnus of the University of Virginia School of Law and member of the Diversity Conference of the Virginia State Bar, will return to her alma mater on Thursday, November 10, 2011, as the keynote speaker at a three-day conference on diversity within the legal profession. The conference is sponsored by the Law School’s Center for the Study of Race and Law, the Diversity Conference of the Virginia State Bar, the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, and the Black Law Students Association.

On Friday the program will open with a welcome by law school dean Paul G. Mahoney, followed by a discussion led by Shawn J. Chen of Cleary Gottlieb on the Value Added by Diversity. Other participants on the Friday program will include Erica Moeser, president of the National Conference of Bar Examiners; W. Scott Street, chair of the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners; Professor Dan R. Ortiz, immediate past chair of the Law School Admission Council; and Peter Pashley, psychometrician of the Law School Admission Council.

Kim M. Keenan, general counsel of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will be the keynote dinner speaker on Friday evening.

The Saturday program will open with a panel on the benefits of expanding the pipeline for a diverse profession and will be followed by a panel on the road to firm partnership. Supreme Court Justice S. Bernard Goodwyn will be the keynote luncheon speaker on Saturday. An open forum on best diversity practices developed by law firms, followed by informed discussion and cocktails will conclude the program.

Participants on the Saturday program include G. Michael Pace of Gentry Locke, Rakes and Moore; Michael HuYoung of Barnes and Diehl; Dana T. Weekes of Patton and Boggs; Richard C. “Rip” Sullivan Jr. of Reed Smith; Jacquelyn E. Stone of McGuire Woods; Tyree R. Jones Jr. of Reed Smith, Manuel A. Capsalis, former president of the Virginia State Bar; and Kenneth Imo of Wilmer and Hale.

This program will cover a wide range of issues and improvements desired to make the legal profession representative of the diverse society in which we live.

The conference is being coordinated by Professor Alex M. Johnson of the University of Virginia School of Law.

All members of the bar and law students are invited to this important conference.

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“Fore Diversity” Golf Tournament Report

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June 19, 2011

Fun was had by all the participants at the “Fore Diversity” Golf Tournament. This year was our Inaugural “Fore Diversity” Golf Tournament which was held on June 16, 2011 in Virginia Beach during the Virginia State Bar’s (VSB) Annual Meeting. Not only was a fun time had by all, but we also had the opportunity to reacquaint ourselves with one another and establish new friendships. But most of all, much thanks need to be given to our sponsors and donors; the raffle gifts were fabulous. The Diversity Conference raffled off many fine items, such as a full set of men’s Galloway golf clubs, a full set of women’s Galloway golf clubs, along with many other extravagant items. You had to be there to believe it.

The Virginia Beach National Golf Club (VBNGC) was a great host for this event. All staff and employees, as well as the Golf Pro, Russ Dodson, were very accommodating and took care of our every need. We look forward to returning next year to VBNGC during the VSB Annual Conference for the Second “Fore Diversity” Golf Tournament. We hope that many more can attend. The next time, we want more players than sponsors; however, we hope to have more of both.

Again, thank you sponsors and donors for your contributions and donations to the “Fore Diversity” Golf Tournament.

Michael HuYoung

Chair of the VSB Diversity Conference

2010-2011 Annual Report

The Diversity Conference’s inaugural year was a promising and successful one with much accomplished and much more planned in the year ahead. Its main accomplishment was to establish a Board of Governors with individuals who are energetic and focused on the Conference’s mission to:

  1. foster and encourage diversity in the admission to the bar and advancement in the legal profession and the judiciary;
  2. serve as a catalyst for creating leadership and bar service opportunities in the legal profession in Virginia; and
  3. work to ensure that the legal system is responsive to the legal needs of the people of Virginia.

Our Initial Board consisted of Manuel A. Capsalis (Chair), Michael HuYoung (Chair- Elect), Linda Y. Lambert (Secretary), Edward L. Weiner (Treasurer), Peter C. Burnett, Beverly J. A. Burton, Clarence M. Dunnaville, Jr., Michael A. Glasser, Manuel E. Leiva, Jennifer L. McClellan, Cathleen K. Memmer, Rupen R. Shah, Professor Henry L. Chambers, Jr., Dean Clinton W. Shinn, Judge Cleo E. Powell, John Y. Richardson, Jr., Kathy M. Coleman (Lay Member), and Michael Zajur (Lay Member). The Board met on at least six different occasions and in different locations throughout the state, and its members typified the true meaning of volunteer service to the legal profession and the community. Because of the staggered terms of our Board, Michael A. Glasser and Clinton W. Shinn have elected not to be re-appointed. They have been replaced by Latoya C. Asia and Marni E. Bynum.

Because of the fact that the Diversity Conference continues to operate without bar funding or active bar staff support, our main goal in this inaugural year was to raise funds so that we could accomplish the goals and plans established by the Board. To that effect, each member of the Board contributed financially to the Conference, and we did much of our own clerical and administrative work.

Our first major organized fundraiser, “Fore Diversity” Golf Tournament, was held during the VSB 2011 Annual Summer Conference in Virginia Beach at the Virginia Beach National Golf Club. Not only was a fun time had by all, but the golfers and members of the Bar also had the opportunity to reacquaint themselves with one another and establish new friendships. The Conference was able to raise more funds than expected. In fact, there were more sponsors and donors than golfers sending a message that the purpose behind the creation of the Diversity Conference is accepted by more than we know. The Diversity Conference raffled off many fine items, such as a full set of men’s Calloway golf clubs, a full set of women’s Galloway golf clubs, along with many other extravagant items. Since the Golf Tournament, Board members have heard from many who plan on playing next year. The Conference hopes to make the Golf Tournament an annual Diversity Conference event during the Annual Summer Conference in Virginia Beach.

Our second major organized fundraiser is Jazz 4 Justice to be held on September 17, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. at the Forbes Center, James Madison University’s new performing arts center. Jazz 4 Justice will be an evening of fabulous music and entertainment. Jazz 4 Justice will support not only the Diversity Conference, but also Blue Ridge Legal Services (BRLS) in the Shenandoah Valley area. BRLS provides free civil legal assistance to low income residents within the Shenandoah Valley. Jazz 4 Justice will also provide musical scholarships for students at JMU, and it will showcase talented music majors at the University. Individual tickets can be purchased for $15 at JMU’s box office or online at www.jmu.edu/JMUarts. The Conference expects this inaugural year of Jazz 4 Justice to be a “sellout” event with 600 people in attendance. A similar event has proven very successful at George Mason University winning awards from both the Virginia and National Bar Associations. The Diversity Conference looks forward to bringing this fun and successful event into the Shenandoah Valley, and we have sent out requests for sponsorship’s.

However, the Conference’s efforts have not just gone to fundraising. The Conference has accomplished or participated in the following since its inception:

  1. Created and established its own website, http://www.vsbmdi.org, which is linked to the VSB website at http://www.dcvsb.org.
  2. Participated in pipeline projects such as the “Rule of Law Program” established by Mike Pace of the Roanoke Bar and funded by the Virginia Law Foundation, reaching out to the middle and high schools, church to promote a better understanding of the legal system and to encourage individuals at an early age to seek a career in the legal profession with all of the opportunities that can be afforded to someone. The Conference hosted and presented in conjunction with other bar groups the Rule of Law Program in Petersburg, Virginia on February 17, 2011 and at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School in the City of Richmond on April 14, 2011.
  3. Participated in the Southern Virginia Minority Pre-Law Conference at the Washington and Lee University School of Law sponsored by the VSB Young Lawyers Conference on September 25, 2010.
  4. Participated in the Hill-Tucker Pre-Law Institute at the University of Richmond School of Law sponsored by the VSB Young Lawyers Conference on July 10 – 15, 2011.
  5. Obtained Senate Resolution No. 31 sponsored by State Senator Emmett W. Hanger, Jr. from Augusta County recognizing the efforts and achievement of the VSB in the creation of the Diversity Conference which passed unanimously in the General Assembly. A framed copy of the Senate Resolution was presented formally by the Diversity Conference to the VSB at the Bar Council Meeting on June 16, 2011 by Senator Hanger himself. This framed Senate Resolution now hangs on the wall of the President’s Office at the VSB offices.
  6. Started membership drive which unlike the other Conferences has no limitations or requirements for joining since it is open to all members of the VSB. With our new website, membership is easy by clicking on the Membership icon. Membership is free.

The following is our current agenda going into the next fiscal year:

  1. Diversity in the Law Conference scheduled on November 10-12, 2011 at the University of Virginia School of Law which will be held jointly by the Law School Center for the Study of Race and Law, and the Diversity Conference. There also will be ongoing presentations during the year at the law schools in the state. For example, the Diversity Conference is scheduled to have a panel presentation and discussion at the Appalachian School of Law on September 28, 2011.
  2. Sustaining Project. – It is the goal of the Diversity Conference to establish pipeline/ ladder programs in every judicial circuit in the Commonwealth.
  3. Signature Project. – It is the goal of the Diversity Conference to establish a grant- funded signature project significant in scope. We have in the works a film project, The American Tapestry: A History of Diversity in America. If successful, the film project may be made in conjunction with the renowned Ken Burns and his staff.
  4. Focus on presenting an event or seminar at the 2012 VSB Annual Conference in Virginia Beach other than the “Fore Diversity” Golf Tournament and to meet the time deadlines for this.
  5. Jazz 4 Justice Concert, fundraiser, as stated above.
  6. Continued development of the Diversity Conference website.
  7. Mutual liaison with the VSB Special Committee on Access to Legal Services.
  8. Continued membership drive for the upcoming year.
  9. Coordinate diversity initiatives and efforts with voluntary statewide bars, local bars, specialty bars, and foundations and academies.
  10. Reaching out to the local community and people of diversity as it pertains to the legal field and arena.

Submitted by:

Michael HuYoung

Chair of the Diversity Conference

August 5, 2011

Senate Passes Resolution -SR31ER

April 06, 2011

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

On February 25, 2011, the Virginia Senate passed a resolution commending the Virginia State Bar’s Diversity Conference. Rupen Shah ( Augusta County) has been named to the initial Board of Governors, and would like Virginia prosecutors to know about the Conference.

The Virginia State Bar created the Diversity Conference in June 2009 and it was endorsed and acknowledged by the Supreme Court of Virginia in January 2010. The Conference’s mission is to foster and encourage diversity in the admission to the bar and advancement in the legal profession and the judiciary; to serve as a catalyst for creating leadership and bar service opportunities in the legal profession in Virginia; and to work to ensure that the legal system is responsive to the legal needs of the people of Virginia.

Membership in the conference is open to all members of the Bar, without cost.

The enrollment is now open and a form can be filled on line at http://www.dcvsb.org/joinus

The complete text of Senate Resolution 31 is here: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?111+sum+SR31