Diversity Conference

Latoya Asia Capers, 2015-2016 Chair-Elect


Officers for the 2015-2016 Fiscal Year:

  • Providence Napoleon, Chair
  • Eva Junker, Immediate Past Chair
  • Latoya Asia Capers, Chair-Elect
  • Luis Perez, Treasurer
  • Julie McClellan, Secretary

Number of members of the Diversity Conference:  742

Special Activities/Programs/Achievements during the 2015-2016 Fiscal Year:


  1. VSB Funding

The Diversity Conference advocated for and received status as a funded Conference of the Virginia State Bar in 2016.


  1. 2015 Virginia Poverty Law Center 2015 Annual Statewide Legal Aid Conference

Eva Junker and Vinceretta Chiles presented at the 2015 VPLC Annual Statewide Legal Aid Conference in Williamsburg, Virginia on the topic of “Cultural & Gender Diversity” on Wednesday, October 21, 2015.


  1. 2016 Law School Mentor/Mentee Initiative – VSB Annual Meeting

For the second year in a row, the Diversity Conference invited law students from all Virginia law schools to attend the 2016 VSB Annual Meeting in Virginia Beach.  Under this initiative, Deans of each of the respective law schools in Virginia select two of their outstanding students whom they feel reflect their schools’ respective diversity goals and excellence in studies. Practicing attorneys sponsored the students’ attendance, and also served as mentors to the students. The students attended CLE sessions and participated in various networking opportunities.  Fourteen dynamic law students attended the Annual Meeting under this initiative this year.


  1. Sixth Annual Golf Tournament – 2016 VSB Annual Meeting

On Thursday, June 16, 2016, the 6th Annual Fore Diversity Tournament was held during the VSB Annual Meeting.  Over 50 people participated in the Tournament to make it another successful and rewarding year.


  1. 2016 Clarence M. Dunnaville, Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award – presented at the DC Showcase CLE at the VSB Annual Meeting

The Honorable Gerald Bruce Lee of the Eastern District of Virginia received the Diversity Conference’s Clarence M. Dunnaville, Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors an individual who exemplifies excellence that members can emulate to meet its mission and goal of fostering, encouraging and facilitating diversity and inclusion in the Bar, the Judiciary and the legal profession.  Judge Lee has a very impressive and unique background. (See https://www.vsb.org/site/news/item/the_honorable_gerald_bruce_lee_receives_diversity_conference_achievement_aw).  In short, Judge Lee embodies the spirit of the award because he lives his motto: “to whom much is given, much is expected.”   It is an honor for him to be a recipient of this Award.


  1. 2016 Oliver Hill/Samuel Tucker Pre-Law Institute

The Oliver Hill/Samuel Tucker Pre-Law Institute (HTI) was held on June 26, 2016 - July 1, 2016, at the University of Richmond.  This year’s HTI saw 25 diverse student participants, including interns.  The students participated in various activities to include, among other things, a networking reception, sessions on closing and opening statements, and evidence, a mock trial, and an etiquette dinner.


  1. 2016 Students’ Day at the Capitol/Rule of Law Program

The Diversity Conference participated in the Students’ Day at the Capitol/Rule of Law Program held on Friday, April 8, 2016.  This program includes collaboration with the Virginia Law Foundation, Virginia Bar Association, VSB YLC, Rule of Law Project, and the academic community in the Richmond Public School area.  Using a partnership with teachers, lawyers, judges, and students, the program seeks to provide students with an enriching and interactive experience about the importance of the rule of law in their daily lives.  This program helps students better understand the need to preserve and protect the rule of law as the foundation for the rights and freedoms we enjoy in the United States.


  1. Diversity Conference Marketing/Rebranding

The Diversity Conference is working with the VSB Communications Department to revamp its branding, social media front, and website in an effort to educate the public about the Diversity Conference and build membership.  Be on the lookout for our exciting new brand and follow us on Twitter and Facebook: http://twitter.com/vsbdc and https://www.facebook.com/dcvsb/.


Continuing Legal Education Programs Sponsored during the 2015-2016 Fiscal Year:


  1. 2016 Showcase CLE - VSB Annual Meeting

The Diversity Conference hosted a dynamic and well attended Showcase CLE at the VSB Annual Meeting on June 17, 2016.  The CLE was entitled,The Pipeline to Diversity: Improving the Practice of Law in the Commonwealth.”  The program was approved for 1.5 CLE credits (0 ethics).

Narrative:  Does diversity within a law firm improve the practice of law and administration of justice in the Commonwealth? Does the duty to zealously represent clients include a consideration of diversity? Does the duty to zealously represent clients include a consideration of the client’s diversity and the need to utilize diverse attorneys to adequate respond to the client’s needs? Does diversity matter in terms of which attorney will be hired at law firms to represent a corporation or individual? Are there ethical issues involved in obtaining client work on the promise to utilize certain attorneys that meet so-called diverse criteria on a matter but not following through? Are law firms training and promoting lawyers (regardless of gender, race, disability, national origin, sexual orientation, etc.) equally to succeed? What challenges and/or opportunities might people of diverse backgrounds face as they move throughout their respective legal careers? Come listen to our esteemed panelists explore and debate these critical and timely issues.


Moderator: Candace Blydenburgh, Partner, McGuireWoods LLP


Speakers: Davison M. Douglas, Dean and Arthur B. Hanson Professor of Law, William & Mary School of Law; Kamran Khan – Assistant General Counsel – Altria.

Updated: Sep 02, 2016