Council on Minorities and Women in the Law

Mission Statement

The Council on Minorities and Women in the Law encourages and facilitates the active and effective participation of women and minorities in the legal profession and promotes the professional development of minority and women attorneys. 

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For more information:

Elena Nethers
4201 N. 24th Street, Suite 100
Phoenix, AZ  85016-6266

Diversity Legal Writing Program

The Maricopa County Bar Foundation and the State Bar of Arizona Committee on Minorities and Women in the Law collaborate with various law firms throughout the Valley to promote the recruitment and retention of minority lawyers in Arizona through the Diversity Legal Writing Program ("Program").  Private law firms work with second-year minority law students from Arizona law schools during the spring semester to improve the students' writing skills and to expose students to real world clerking assignments in a private firm setting. 

Additionally, 90-minute training sessions are held to enhance the students' writing skills, to supplement law school curriculum, to help the students learn about the private firm environment, and to discuss practical tips for the practice of law. The Program is designed to develop better research and writing skills, and to expose the student to a private firm environment.

For more information about the program, please contact Elena Nethers at Elena.Nethers@staff.azbar.org.

Law School Outreach

CMWL actively coordinates events with bar members and students at each of the Arizona law schools in order to encourage the advancement of minorities and women in the law through recruitment and hiring.  Committee members provide information, advice, and contacts to law students about State Bar programs and CMWL specifically.

State Bar Annual Convention CLE Program

Each year, CMWL organizes a CLE program centered on minorities and women in the law at the State Bar's convention in June.

Past seminar topics include:

  • 2019 - Offensive or Oversensitive? A Practical Discussion on Microaggressions in the Legal Profession.
  • 2018 - Exploring Business Development Opportunities in Diverse Communities
  • 2017 - Defining and Achieving Your Own Success
  • 2016 - Thinking Like a Lawyer: A Game-Show Approach to Implicit Bias
  • 2015 - If You Build It, They Will Come ... Success through Client Development

Hon. Thomas Tang Writing Competition

The CMWL established the Judge Thomas Tang Writing Competition to highlight the importance of a diverse legal profession. The competition is open to law students enrolled in any of Arizona's law schools. The competition is named after the late Honorable Thomas Tang, who served on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in recognition of and to honor his special achievements and interest in diversifying the legal profession.

Prizes: $1500 for first place essay, $1000 for second place essay. Winners are announced at the State Bar of Arizona Convention.

2019 Winners

First Place:                                                                                                                                  Adam Gorski                                                                                                                              Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University

Second Place:                                                                                                                             Ashley Cheff                                                                                                                              Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University

Read Question and Winning Essays                                                                           

Tang Writing Competition Chair: Kimberly Nye