Diversity Update Summer 2009

The Groom Law Group Diversity Committee would like to take this opportunity to update our clients on a variety of diversity events in which we have been involved during the Summer of 2009.

National Association of Women Lawyers Luncheon

Groom attorneys Andrée St. Martin, Roberta Ufford, and Jen Cromwell, who were joined by several clients and friends of the firm, attended the National Association of Women Lawyers Annual Awards Luncheon on July 23, 2009.  The National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) is the leading national voluntary organization devoted to the interests of women lawyers and women’s rights.  This year’s luncheon honored Marcia Greenberger, founder and co-president of the National Women’s Law Center, who is a true champion of women’s rights.  Also honored was Roderick Palmore, general counsel of General Mills and author of the 2004 “A Call to Action, Diversity in the Legal Profession,” who has led the way in urging general counsel throughout the country to demonstrate their commitment to diversity in the legal profession by demanding results in this area from law firms with which they work and by making changes in their own legal departments.  Several other individuals were honored for their contributions to women’s rights and increased diversity in the legal profession. Groom Law Group is a proud supporter of NAWL, and was pleased to attend the annual luncheon.

Hispanic National Bar Foundation Law Camp

Groom Law Group attorneys recently participated in the Hispanic National Bar Foundation’s fifth-annual Future Latino Leaders Law Camp, which took place in Washington, D.C. from July 5 to July 12, 2009.  The Law Camp, which culminated in a mock trial competition at the D.C. superior court, provided twenty high school students with the opportunity to gain exposure to the legal profession and meet practicing lawyers.  Groom attorneys Mark Nielsen and Will Wilder, along with summer associates Allison Rogers and Josh Coleman, assisted the students in preparing for the mock trial by helping the students identify key facts and examine the application of the relevant legal principles in the case.  Groom attorneys Lou Mazawey and Matthew Calloway participated in the mock trial as a witness and a judge.  The students presented their cases with great enthusiasm and were eager to discuss, after the mock trial was over, how different approaches would have yielded a different outcome. Groom attorneys have participated in the law camp for the past several years.

Women’s Bar Association Dinner

On May 19, 2009, Groom attorneys Lonie Hassel, Liz Dold, Jenny Eller, Susan Luken, Sarah Zumwalt, and Julia Zuckerman attended the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia’s “Woman Lawyer of the Year” dinner honoring Solicitor General Elena Kagan. The Woman Lawyer of the Year Award recognizes a woman for her exceptional achievements in the legal profession and/or for her extraordinary contributions to the advancement of women in the profession.  The theme for this year’s dinner was “Women in Politics,” and, therefore, was a particularly fitting occasion on which to honor Ms. Kagan – the first woman to serve as U.S. Solicitor General. Groom Law Group was proud to be a Patron Level sponsor of this event.

ERISA Network Luncheon

Beginning what Groom hopes will be a fruitful relationship with other ERISA professionals throughout the metropolitan DC area, Groom hosted a luncheon for the ERISA Network on May 12, 2009.  The ERISA Network is an informal network of African American employee benefits attorneys that practice in and around DC.  The group consists of attorneys in private practice, government, in-house counsel, and trade unions.  The speaker for the luncheon was Professor Regina Jefferson of the Catholic University School of Law, who spoke on her career transition from practitioner to the academia.  In addition to Groom attorneys Will Wilder and Hisham Amin, the luncheon was attended by 13 members of the ERISA Network.