The Center for Legal Inclusiveness celebrated its 10th anniversary Wednesday with a dinner for guests at the Space Gallery in Denver. The center recognized sponsors, law firm partners, board members and community affiliates for their continued support of CLI’s mission.
Board chair Skip Gray III gave welcoming remarks after dinner. He thanked city attorneys, managing partners and counsel, judiciary members, bar association leaders and the deans of law schools for their support in standing ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with CLI in its mission to create cultures of inclusion in the legal community.
“Remember, integrating diversity and inclusion into the organizational systems ultimately will serve as the measure of strength and resiliency of the legal profession,” he said.
CLI CEO Karen Hester shared the path that the organization has navigated to achieve its goal, which she said was not a straightforward one. In 1993, several firms signed the Colorado Pledge to Diversity, but Hester said the pledge didn’t result in the changes they hoped for. In 2003, the deans of the law schools expressed dissatisfaction with the composition of the student body in Colorado’s law programs. This led to the formation of the Dean’s Diversity Council in 2006. The first Legal Inclusiveness and Diversity Summit was held in April 2007, and CLI gained nonprofit status that October.