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ALI – Bias in the Legal Profession: Exploring How Biases Affect Mentoring, Sponsorship, and Evaluation

March 26, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Why You Should Attend

Implicit (unconscious) bias is always present and with us, operating in the background of our brains much as a computer operating system does. Implicit bias is not always bad. Without it, it would be hard for anyone to make all the decisions that need to be made to get through a day. The problem is when implicit bias informs—or should we say misinforms–the judgments we make about others. In these unfortunate instances, bias operates for the benefit of certain groups and to the detriment of other groups.

What You Will Learn

In a law firm, law office, or other legal employer environments, implicit bias is a particularly troublesome risk when it comes to evaluations and mentoring. But it is not just the objects of the implicit bias who are hurt. The legal organization is harmed to the extent it does not harness the full talent of a diverse workforce. Attorneys who draw conclusions based on implicit bias may also be less effective in evaluating clients, opposing counsel, or a judge, and therefore, may actually be a less effective advocate.

This webcast is an interactive dialogue on implicit bias as it relates to evaluations and mentoring. In this program, we will discuss:

The neurological basis for implicit bias and how it manifests in evaluation and mentoring

What factors may make it less likely that implicit bias will occur (such as deliberate rather than reflective decision making)

Specific implicit bias risks when it comes to evaluating the performance of colleagues and subordinates (and others with whom you interact)

Specific implicit bias risks when it comes to mentoring (or the lack thereof)

Strategies to disrupt implicit bias at the systemic and personal level when it comes to evaluations and mentoring

Well-intended but problematic approaches to implicit bias when it comes to evaluations and mentoring (such as affinity mentoring as the sole type of mentoring)


Need Elimination of Bias or ethics credit?  This seminar qualifies for 1.25 to 1.5 Elimination of Bias, ethics, or general credit hours, depending on state requirements in MCLE jurisdictions that accredit live webcasts.


Who Should Attend

All attorneys, support staff, and related professionals will benefit from listening to this webcast on implicit bias and its practice impacts.

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