LAWYERS FOR ONE AMERICA is a collaboration of legal organizations throughout the country. While we share a universal commitment to increasing diversity in the legal profession and to ensuring access to legal services for underserved communities, we recognize that there are many ways to accomplish these goals. We have compiled recommendations reflecting the consensus of the collaboration. Not all of our collaborators are endorsed in every recommendation, and there are alternative approaches that some of our organizations would adopt. It is our collective hope that the readers of our recommendations will find a wealth of ideas that will inspire their own work toward ensuring diversity and access in the legal profession. We will be publishing the recommendations soon.
Our mission is to advocate for and actively promote greater racial and ethnic diversity in the legal profession nationwide, so that our law schools, judicial systems, and lawyers more accurately reflect the communities they serve. To better serve our diverse communities, we also provide civil pro bono legal services to underserved communities in Northern California so that disadvantaged individuals and micro-businesses may gain economic self-sufficiency to combat community deterioration.
In the summer of 1999, President Clinton summoned hundreds of the United States leading attorneys, Democrats, Republicans and Independents to the White House. He did so in the tradition of President Kennedy, who in the summer of 1963 had asked more than 200 prominent lawyers to the White House, seeking their support in the fight against segregation. In his address 36 years later, which became known as “A New Call to Action,” President Clinton asked the legal profession’s assistance again, this time to fight discrimination and revitalize America’s poorest communities. President Clinton proposed that American lawyers fight poverty and discrimination by increasing pro bono legal services to households with no access to a lawyer, helping inner-city businesses and entrepreneurs, and aiding and mentoring minority law students.