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Diversity Panelists Share Experiences 9/12/16  09/12/16 12:40:24 AM Printer Friendly VersionPrinter Friendly Version

– Photo by Lorraine Boyd
From left, Shawntal Smith, Jose Rodriguez, Jamie Cooper, Yvonne Sosa and Jessica Kallstrom-
Schreckengost discuss their experiences in and out of law school.
Diversity Panelists Share Experiences
The 2016 Nebraska Legal Diversity Summit at Creighton University attracted a ballroom full of people, including lawyers, law students and pre-law students. The event was sponsored by Creighton School of Law, Cline Williams Wright Johnson & Oldfather and Stinson Leonard Street, University of Nebraska College of Law, Kiewit Corporation, Kutak Rock, Baird Holm, Fraser Stryker and Legal Aid of Nebraska.
After a keynote address by Anna W. Shavers on recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions,  Chris Osborn of ReelTime CLE led a two-hour session entitled “Accidental Racists and Other Elephants in the Room: The Impact of Subtle Forms of Bias on Access to Justice,” using clips from movies such as Crash as a starting point for discussion. Then the above panel tackled “The Minority Law Student and Attorney: Lessons for Law Schools, Employers, and Bar (and Humans, In General).” They gave often cringe-worthy accounts of incidents they had experienced, most based on ignorance. The women recounted their decision-making in such seemingly small things as how they should wear their hair based on which court they were in.
The sessions were eye-opening and valuable for attorneys, student and all those who interact with them. The take-away: be more aware of your assumptions and reactions, and educate yourself.
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