Date(s) - 04/10/2019
12:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Volunteer Lawyers Network
This event is canceled. The next Race and the Legal System CLE will take place on 6/19.
The preamble of the Minnesota Rules of Professional Responsibility provides in part:
 As a public citizen, a lawyer should seek improvement of the law, access to the legal system, the administration of justice and the quality of service rendered by the legal profession. . . . . In addition, a lawyer should further the public’s understanding of and confidence in the rule of law and the justice system because legal institutions in a constitutional democracy depend on popular participation and support to maintain their authority. A lawyer should be mindful of deficiencies in the administration of justice . . . . [A]ll lawyers should devote professional time and resources and use civic influence to ensure equal access to our system of justice for all those who because of economic or social barriers cannot afford or secure adequate legal counsel. . . . .
In order to meet this ethical responsibility, and in a time in which conversations about race and racism are often very triggering and end at impasses, this CLE will entirely focus on specific suggestions and tools to support lawyers’ ability to have constructive conversations about race and racism with our colleagues and clients.
This CLE reviews:
• An overview of some barriers that BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) have to accessing a fair legal system
• Our professional responsibility to promote fair access to the legal system
• Specific challenges to constructive conversations, namely:
• Being prepared in advance for these conversations by:
• Acquiring knowledge about race/racism related to legal system
• Understanding and taking steps to interrupt implicit bias
• Understanding and taking steps to navigate strong emotions
• Understanding the importance of and the steps of connecting with others, even if we are not agreeing with them
• Being in a larger community of people with shared values
• Being ready during conversations to listen well, speak effectively and know when to save your energy
• Tips for addressing each of the identified challenges
As a result, participants will leave the CLE with a greater ability to have constructive conversations with clients, colleagues and other legal professionals about race and racism so that we are better able to meet our ethical obligations to:
• Seek improvement of the law, access to the legal system, the administration of justice and the quality of service rendered by the legal profession
• Provide competent representation to BIPOC
CLE Credit: 3.0 ethics credits applied for