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Advocacy Group Wants to Change Model Ethics Rules to Include Diversity Obligation

Posted Sep 20, 2012 9:28 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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An advocacy group is seeking to promote diversity through a change the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct.

The Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession asked for the rule change in a letter (PDF) to ABA President Laurel Bellows, according to the National Law Journal and a press release.

“We respectfully urge that there be a new section that would specifically make efforts to increase diversity and inclusion in the legal profession a matter of ethics and professional conduct,” the letter says. The writers point to the ABA’s Goal III seeking to eliminate bias and enhance diversity in the profession.

Institute executive director Sandra Yamate told the National Law Journal her group believes the rule should promote diversity based on race, sex, sexual orientation, disability and religion. "We think it's a no-brainer," Yamate said. “This is a low-cost way to have an impact on the issue and for the ABA to meets its own stated goal."

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