Joseph D. Cohen

Joseph D. Cohen

Committee Chair Corner – Diversity and Inclusion Committee
Joseph D. Cohen
Porter Hedges LLP

In 2008, the IADC Board of Directors created the Diversity and Inclusion Committee and charged it with “actively increasing the involvement and participation of diverse attorneys in the organization through membership strategies and professional programming that recognizes the strength and benefits of inclusion and diversity in the practice of law.” Under the past leadership of this Committee, the IADC has made great accomplishments. Following immediate past Chair Bonnie Mayfield will be no easy task, but the Vice Chairs and I are committed to continuing the great work of the previous leadership.

A number of things are currently in the works for the Committee. Before the end of the year, the Committee will sponsor a Webinar on Leveraging Diversity and Inclusion for Success. More information will available on the Webinar page on the IADC website coming soon. Continuing with that theme, at the 2020 Midyear Meeting, the In-House and Law Firm Management Committee and the Diversity and Inclusion Committee will sponsor a Major CLE entitled Tangible Diversity and Inclusion Results are Positive Profit Drivers. At this CLE, you will learn not just how to increase diversity at your firm, but also how doing so can increase your bottom line and how failing to do so could negatively affect your bottom line with some clients.

We have also just announced the Board’s approval of the second annual IADC Diversity and Inclusion Award. I hope that everyone will take the time to nominate persons “who have not only championed diversity and inclusion within the legal profession, but also who have taken purposeful, tangible actions that have yielded positive outcomes in achieving diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and/or in significantly advancing understanding of the need for diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.”  You can submit a nomination by clicking here. The Committee has also decided to continue the Diversity Quote Book. All quotes on diversity and inclusion within the public domain, i.e., published in 1923 or earlier, can be submitted to Zandra Foley ( and me (

At the 2020 Annual Meeting, the Committee will sponsor a CLE on civil rights litigation over the past 100 years, presented by individuals who will address how certain decisions have personally changed their lives.

Over the course of the coming year, the Committee also hopes to start discussions regarding what more all of us can do to promote diversity and inclusion in IADC and elsewhere. So please consider getting involved in the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. We welcome everyone who is committed to diversity and inclusion.

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