Creating Culturally Competent Law Firms

March 24, 2021
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
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Topic: Creating Culturally Competent Law Firm
Presenters: Ellen R. Clinton, Regional Administrative Manager, Kutak Rock LLP and Shirley Laboy, Office Manager, Sidley Austin LLP
Leader: Tracey Reams, CLM, Office Manager, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c.

Session Description: 

Cultural competence is an awareness of the cultural differences that makes each person unique; it is the ability to interact with and appreciate belief systems that differ from our own, thereby creating a way for everyone to work cross culturally. The goal of this presentation is to enhance knowledge and skills for building and maintaining a multicultural organization and becoming positive change agents for our workplaces. This program asks participants to understand and reflect on their role as a leader responsible for promoting inclusion and building successful and effective working relationships within our organizations.

Participants will:

  • Define diversity and culture and its impact on relationships within our organizations.
  • Recognize our unconscious biases and how they impact our culture and hiring decisions.
  • Understand the importance of collaborative working relationships with diverse others and the benefits of diverse perspectives in problem solving.
  • Recognize the importance of infusing diversity into our organizations to achieve a more productive, respectful and cooperative work environment.


CLM Application Credit for Functional Specialists: 1 hour in the subject area of Human Resources Management towards the additional hours required of some Functional Specialists to fulfill the CLM application requirements.
CLM Recertification Credit: 1 hour in the subject area of Human Resources.

About the Speakers:

Ellen Clinton is the Regional Administrative Manager of the DC/Richmond offices of Kutak Rock LLP. She has more than 25 years of law firm management experience with a special interest in leading diversity, inclusion, and change management initiatives. Ellen is an active member of her firm's National Inclusiveness and Diversity Committee, has served as Chair of the ALA Capital Chapter's Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and is vice chair of ALA's National Committee on Inclusion and Diversity. Ellen received her Bachelor's degree from the University of Northern Iowa and her Master's Degree in Organizational Performance and Leadership Development from Drake University.

Shirley Laboy is the Office Manager of the Palo Alto Office of Sidley Austin LLP.  With over 30 years in the legal industry, Shirley has held a number of administration positions, primarily focused on the Practice of Intellectual Property.  Shirley is an active member of the Silicon Valley Chapter and is the current Business Partner Chair.  She has also held chapter positions in the areas of Diversity and Inclusion and was President of the Chapter for two consecutive years.  Most recently Shirley has joined the National Committee on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility. 


$0.00 Member Ticket

$0.00 Non-Member Ticket