2020 Diversity Conference and Awards

Date Thursday, December 10, 2020
Program 12:00 - 4:15 p.m.
Reception  4:15- 6:00 p.m. 
MCLE 3.0 Hours in Recognition and Elimination of Bias
2020 has been a roller coaster of a year, from Covid-19 to calls for racial justice, equality, and police reform. The legal industry was not immune.  It has witnessed the effects the pandemic has had on business and diversity efforts, and has had to address the racial injustices continuing to plague the United States. Given recent events, the Barristers 2020 Diversity Conference comes at a critical time. 

The Conference will deepen the awareness and engagement of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in the legal industry, by exploring how the legal industry can prevent the erosion of such efforts by a sustained economic downturn, and how law firms, in-house legal departments, and other organizations can interrupt and eliminate bias, dismantle toxic cultures, and build inclusive and respectful environments for underrepresented attorneys and other professionals in order to build a true sense of belonging and understanding.
PANEL I: 12:00 - 1:45 p.m.
Belonging in 2020: How Organizations & Law Firms Can Dismantle Toxic Cultures and Build Inclusive Environments

Our esteemed panelists, from the Bay Area and beyond, will talk through how organizations and law firms can effectively and thoughtfully discuss race, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, and disability in the workplace, and why these discussions are essential. Other topics of discussion include methods for identifying toxic work cultures that affect attorneys from underrepresented groups, practical steps leaders can take to build a sense of belonging for attorneys and other professionals in their organizations or law firms, and how effective law firms and in-house diversity committees and upper management are addressing these issues.  This discussion will go beyond the typical recommendations for unconscious bias training, and digs to get at the root of the “other” causes that push underrepresented attorneys out of law firms and organizations.

Mary Ellen Connerty, Director of Diversity & Engagement, O'Melveny & Myers
Rosevelie Marquez Morales, Diversity & Inclusion Director for the Americas, Hogan Lovells
Alison Nelson, Managing Counsel, Co-Chair, Diversity & Inclusion Committee, Ford Motor Company
Paul Rivera, Google  
Leon B. Silver, Managing Partner, Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani
James Williams, Associate General Counsel, Snap, Inc. 

Davina Pujari, Partner, Hanson Bridgett 

PANEL II: 2:00 - 3:30 p.m.
COVID-19 & The Legal Industry: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Efforts in a Time of Economic Crisis

This panel will discuss how the pandemic and associated economic crisis will impact the legal industry’s diversity and inclusion efforts, and why underrepresented groups are disproportionally affected by the measures organizations and law firms take to withstand a crisis.  Other topics of discussion will include unconscious bias in work allocation when workloads decline, how to ensure underrepresented attorneys have work and that there is equitable distribution of “high value” assignments, steps to retain and elevate women attorneys balancing childcare and family needs, what organizations and law firms can do to protect the progress they have made to advance diversity in the profession over the last decade, lessons learned since recovering from the last economic downturn and practical steps organizations and law firms can take to continue to promote diversity in recruiting, promotion and retention so as to avoid the same results, and ways to maintain diversity and inclusion efforts amidst budget constraints. 

Joan Haratani, Partner, Morgan Lewis
Laura Rees Acosta, Managing Director, Diversity, Equity + Inclusion, Goodwin Procter 
Akshay Verma, Head of Legal Operations, Facebook
Sandra S. Yamate, CEO, The Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession
Seth Krauss, Chief Legal Officer, Endeavor

Pat Gillette, Speaker, Author and JAMS mediator

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: 3:45 - 4:15 p.m.

Paul Grewal
Chief Legal Officer, Coinbase

Paul Grewal is the Chief Legal Officer of Coinbase, where more than 35 million people in over 100 countries buy, sell, store, use and earn cryptocurrency, Before joining Coinbase, Paul was Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at Facebook Inc. and previously served as United States Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of California. Before his appointment to the federal bench, Paul was an equity partner at Howrey LLP. He received his JD from the University of Chicago Law School and his SB from MIT, and sits on the boards of the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley and the Innocence Project of Northern California. He also serves on California Governor Gavin Newsom’s Judicial Selection Advisory Committee.

Please join the Barristers Club Board of Directors in honoring Kevin Benedicto and Liên Payne at the 12th Annual Barristers Club Diversity Reception. This award reflects an individual’s efforts to increase awareness of diversity issues in the Bay Area Legal Community.

Kevin Benedicto               Liên Payne
Morgan Lewis                   California Department of Health Care Services

Event Code: B200212

For a printable flyer, click here. 

Sponsored by 








Minority Bar Coalition Co-Sponsors: 
Santa Clara County Bar AssociationAlameda County Bar AssociationQueen's Bench Bar AssociationAlameda-Contra Costa Trial Lawyers' AssociationThe Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay AreaBay Area Lawyers for Individual FreedomAmerican Constitution Society – Bay Area Lawyer ChapterBlack Women Lawyers Association of Northern CaliforniaAsian Pacific American Bar Association of Silicon Valley;  East Bay La Raza Lawyers AssociationSan Francisco La Raza Lawyers Association; Charles Houston Bar AssociationJewish Bar Association of San Francisco; California Lawyers Association

Interested in sponsorship opportunities?
Please fill out the sponsorship form or contact 


 FREE BASF Law Student
 FREE BASF/MBC Sponsor Org Members
 $20 Nonmember

MBC Sponsoring organization members please contact cle@sfbar.org to receive your discount code. 

How to Register:

  1. You may register for the entire conference (all sessions, keynote and awards/reception) or only register for the awards and reception.  
  2. Sign-in to your account and select Register Myself at the bottom of the page. Use Forgot Username or Forgot Password if you don't know your account information. Don't have an account? Select Create Account. 
  3. Once signed in, click the Add button next to your program choice.
  4. Select Proceed to Checkout to enter payment information (if applicable) and complete the registration process.


12/10/2020 12:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Online only. CA
Online registration not available.

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