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Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace During Times of Civil Unrest

Level: Intermediate
Runtime: 94 minutes
Recorded Date: August 27, 2020
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  • Introduction
  • Anti-Racism v. Race Neutral
  • White Supremacy
  • Our Roles & Skills / Opportunities
  • Legal & Policy Issues
  • Allyship
  • Actions to Take
  • Long-Term Support
  • Q & A
  • Looking Forward
Runtime: 1 hour, 34 minutes
Recorded: August 27, 2020


Racial injustice and bias are now at the forefront of many organizations during this time of civil unrest. Corporate leaders and attorneys must recognize their response to diversity and inclusion in the workplace will ultimately determine their long term success.

This seminar will highlight experienced attorneys who can communicate the necessary steps for fostering diversity and mitigating risk.

This program was recorded on August 27th, 2020.

Provided By

American Bar Association
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Summra Mohammadee Shariff

Executive Director and President
Twin Cities Diversity in Practice (TCDIP)

Summra Mohammadee Shariff is the Executive Director and President.

Shariff joins TCDIP from law firm Robins Kaplan LLP, where she served most recently as its Pro Bono Coordinator and previously as the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Coordinator. Shariff is active in the Minnesota legal community as a long-term member of the Minnesota Justice Foundation’s Board and Executive Committee and as a board member for the Housing Justice Center. She also works with the Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association, where she previously held a leadership role. Shariff is a strong advocate for intersectional diversity efforts and advancing professional and business development opportunities for attorneys of color.

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Roshan N. Rajkumar

Co-Managing Partner
Bowman and Brooke, LLP.

Roshan Rajkumar is a trial attorney defending corporations in state and federal courts against commercial, product liability, toxic tort and warranty matters. In both serving as lead counsel in local and national roles for both individual matters and mass torts, he has gained extensive experience representing major manufacturers of commercial and consumer motor vehicles, motorcycles, recreational vehicles and construction products.

Clients retain Roshan for his first- and second-chair civil litigation trial experience; however, they also seek out his skills in efficient and effective assessment and resolution of civil litigation matters. Roshan understands that his clients need an attorney that respects business drivers and needs when deciding whether to recommend trying a case, or seeking early resolution. Roshan has been part of the national litigation team for a major chemical company addressing toxic tort claims. Roshan also represents a major product manufacturer in all of its Wisconsin asbestos matters, addressing issues of premise and product liability, and serves as regional asbestos counsel for a commercial HVAC manufacturer. In addition, he currently serves as warranty counsel for a major automobile manufacturer in seven states, as national warranty counsel for a major Minnesotan vehicle manufacturer, and regional warranty counsel for four motor vehicle manufacturers.

Roshan is one of two Sri Lankan-American attorneys at Bowman and Brooke, and as Chair of the firm's Diversity and Inclusion Committee he devotes quality time to addressing these issues in the practice of law. He also serves on the Diversity Committee at his law school alma mater and he is Co-Chair of the board of Twin Cities Diversity in Practice, which works to attract, recruit, retain and advance attorneys of color in the Twin Cities. Additionally he serves as a Minority Corporate Counsel Association ambassador, and is an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota Law School.

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Mia Lorick

Locke & Lord LLP

Mia Lorick is Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in civil appellate law and concentrates her practice on real estate litigation, commercial litigation and professional liability defense. She practices trial and appellate law and has argued before the Texas Supreme Court as well as numerous intermediate courts of appeals. In addition to her practice, Mia has been an advocate for a more equitable legal profession, having founded and directed her former firm’s diversity and inclusion initiative. She regularly speaks on diversity and inclusion panels, most recently for the American Bar Association.

In addition to serving as an avid mentor in her practice, Mia is a faculty member for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy’s deposition skills training courses. At the University of Houston Law Center, she serves as an adjunct professor and founded the Suited for Success scholarship, which awards law students the funds needed to buy a business suit for interviewing. The scholarship has since been expanded to the University of Texas School of Law.

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Ann Jenrette-Thomas

Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer
Stinson, LLP

Ann oversees the implementation of the firm's Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, taking an innovative approach when it comes to addressing challenges within the firm and the profession relating to diversity and inclusion. Her two-pronged approach centers on individual responsibility—equipping people with the knowledge, skills and tools they need to create and inclusive environment—and eradicating the effects of bias through systems and process. She addresses structural bias by continuously evaluating the firm's policies, practices and norms and identifying unique methods to achieve desired outcomes.

When she noticed that diverse attorneys and law students were often foreclosing opportunities simply because they did not know the "unwritten rules" for success in the profession, Ann created Big Law Success: The Inside Scoop for Law Students and New Lawyers, a five-part podcast that demystifies how to thrive in big law. Ann also led a multi-stop roadshow to law schools in order to educate diverse law students on the importance of a strong personal brand, and has worked with several organizations on diversifying the law school pipeline.

Among numerous publications and presentations throughout her career, Ann penned the Amazon best seller, The Happy Law Practice: Expert Strategies to Build Business and Maintain Peace of Mind. Prior to joining Stinson, Ann was a diversity and inclusion consultant, an attorney at an Am Law 100 firm, a judicial clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and a legislative attorney for the New York City Council. She was also president and CEO of a nonprofit organization.

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Kobi Kennedy Brinson

Partner & Chair, Diversity & Inclusion Committee
Winston & Strawn, LLP

Kobi Kennedy Brinson is a partner in Winston & Strawn LLP’s Charlotte office in the White Collar, Regulatory Defense & Investigations practice group who defends financial services and other clients in government regulatory enforcement inquiries and investigations, as well as class action litigation. Kobi has spent more than 20 years defending corporate clients as both in-house counsel for some of the nation’s largest financial institutions and as outside counsel to corporate clients nationwide.

Kobi’s heightened sensitivity to the business objectives and needs of her clients has led to her successful handling of regulatory and investigative matters on behalf of her global financial institution clients as well as smaller organizations undergoing governmental scrutiny. She has extensive experience dealing with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and continues to focus her practice on helping clients navigate that agency’s complex investigative process.

Kobi has defended numerous clients against investigations by state Attorneys General, and has provided advice and counsel for investigations and legal processes by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and Department of Justice (DOJ).

In addition to her regulatory practice, Kobi represents clients in class action litigation with a focus on consumer lending and retail banking issues. She uses her in-depth knowledge of consumer banking and lending to dismantle plaintiffs’ claims, while obtaining favorable rulings on motions to dismiss and motions for summary judgment. As an attorney with deep experience in adverse litigation and investigatory matters, Kobi also counsels clients facing media and, in some cases, Congressional scrutiny.

Prior to joining Winston, Kobi was Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at both Bank of America and Wells Fargo, where she coordinated responses to consumer regulatory enforcement actions from Prudential and other regulators, including the CFPB, DOJ, and state Attorneys General. She has directed responsive strategy for hundreds of individual and class action litigation matters.

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