Our society is diverse. Our courthouses are diverse. The
lawyers trying cases in those courtrooms ought to better
mirror the diversity in our society. And they ought to be excellent
advocates in the tradition of the ACTL. The College
is best equipped to help that next generation of outstanding
trial lawyers. Tom Heiden first brought the proposition and
challenge to the College. Leadership enthusiastically agreed
and asked Tom to chair the program.
Fifty diverse lawyers from around the country met. The participants
included lawyers from Equal Justice Works, Catholic
Charities Community Services, the American Civil
Liberties Union, public defender offices in Delaware and
New York, and lawyers in private practice.
A SENSE OF
IN THE ROOM
It was the
ever had What a fantastic
Thank you for
I AM IMPRESSED
The excellence of the program and the importance of the experiences are best captured by the participants’ comments:
Eighteen diverse Fellows from New York to San Francisco
donated their time to serve as hands-on faculty. Each segment
of a trial was divided into discussion, faculty demonstration,
participant exercises, and faculty review – direct
and cross-examination, fact witnesses and experts, opening
statements and closing arguments. The program culminated
in 5 parallel trials of a pharma death case file. Both current
President Mike O’Donnell and Past President Doug Young
served on the faculty.
Latham & Watkins’ Women Enriching Business and Diversity
Leadership Committee sponsored the program. Latham
assigned the Director of its trial training programs and
two supporting staff, and provided its facilities and food
and drink for the three days.
The American Lawyer headlined its coverage of the program
as “Kudos and ‘C’mon!: ACTL Just Pulled Off an Impressive
Program to Diversify the Trial Bar. Again, Please.” Am-
Law implored the College to make it an annual event.
Many of these young diverse lawyers are already in courtrooms
doing real cases. Hopefully, the College has helped
them toward excellent, principled advocacy.
Joe Crawford and Joe Caldwell helped from the outset. College
staff lent their support. Fellows chipped in to help with
the participant and faculty recruiting. The faculty were:
Sergio Acosta, Anita Alvarez, Joe Caldwell, Jack Carriglio,
Jan Conlin, Joe Crawford, Judge Thomas Durkin, Gerald
Ivey, Maurice Jenkins, Mike O’Donnell, Maria McCarthy,
Lynn Murray, Joe Serino, Diane MacArthur, Kathy Nestor,
Kimball Anderson, Gary Elder, Doug Young, Mary Rose
Alexander, and Tom Heiden.
The need to help equip young diverse trial lawyers to mirror
the diversity in our society remains. This program has
barely scratched the surface. We hope – with your help – to
continue and expand this effort.
FALL 2022 JOURNAL 32