Specialty Bar Spotlight: Kathryn Starnella, Colorado Hispanic Bar Association

Patching the pipeline through mentoring

Note: This is one part of a collection of interviews with Colorado’s specialty bar leaders.

LAW WEEK: This is now the end of your year as president. Is there anything within that time that you saw has changed? It seems to me like people are just getting more and more tuned into diversity issues, but I’m also curious if there are actual changes that are being made going with that.

Kathryn Starnella: There are things that we are starting to implement. I just looked at [the Center for Legal Inclusiveness’] website last night, and it lists my alma mater’s statistics. Entering first-year classes in law school are around 30 percent diverse — a little bit less than that — but then the numbers really drop off once you get into practice, and so CLI is starting to take the effort not to ignore the needs that still exist in ensuring that the pipeline to law school is diverse but also how to increase retention. What’s going on with minority attorneys once they reach their mid-level associate level, and why aren’t they making it to the senior ranks in law firms and corporations, and why are they leaving the legal profession?

So in terms of how the CHBA is trying to address that, our immediate past president Ruth Mackie and our education committee chair Jonathan Booker, are working with [Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program] and Ryann Peyton to tailor the CAMP model for the CHBA so that we could ideally pair up more senior Hispanic attorneys with more junior Hispanic attorneys.

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the November 5, 2018 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.