“The Power of Inclusion” is the guiding theme of the State Bar’s Minority Bar Convention, slated for today and tomorrow (Thursday and Friday) this week.

Some of the highlights from the day-and-a-half-long event include viewpoints from women judges. Jurists slated to appear on Friday morning are:

  •        Hon. Rebecca Berch, Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Arizona
  •        Hon. Patricia Orozco, Arizona Court of Appeals
  •        Hon. Roslyn O. Silver, Chief U.S. Judge, District of Arizona
  •        Hon. Danielle Viola, Arizona Superior Court for Maricopa County
  •        Hon. Susanna Pineda, Arizona Superior Court for Maricopa County
  •        Hon. Carol Berry, Phoenix Municipal Court
  •        Hon. Roxanne Song Ong, Chief Presiding Judge, Phoenix Municipal Court

I was especially intrigued by this offering. So I contacted the panel moderator, Troy Larkin (you may remember Troy as the lawyer who kicked butt in our Arizona Attorney 2011 Creative Arts Competition; his poetry is here.)

Troy Larkin (photo by Karen Shell)

I asked Troy if he would divulge some of what he planned for the Friday morning panel. He explained that he hoped the group would touch on many things, including “the challenges of becoming a judge and how to get on the bench. I will ask about any perceived animosity they faced in seeking a bench position and whether they feel from their time served thus far whether there have been any strives made to make the bench less of a ‘boys club.’”

When I asked what attendees might get out of the interactions, Troy looked to the future.

“I hope attendees’ minds will be opened to the struggle to get on the bench and challenges faced by minorities in serving the public in that capacity. I also hope it inspires some who never thought about donning a robe to seek judicial appointment.”

Stephen Fairley

Also appearing will be Stephen Fairley of The Rainmaker Institute, who will explore the opportunities available to lawyers via social media. His focus will be Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter—but I’m sure he’d entertain your question about any compelling channel (Pinterest, anyone?).

Also on tap are seminars on: Indian Law and tribal-court practice; oral advocacy in trial and appellate courts; immigration; criminal-law year in review by Christina Cabanillas; Equal Protection, by Bob McWhirter; LGBT protection under state law; an Ethical Jeopardy game (Thursday afternoon); and adoption issues surrounding the less-traditional family.

Calif. Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso (ret.)

The keynote speaker will be former California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso. And at that Friday lunch, Dr. Pearl Tang will present writing competition awards to deserving law students.

The complete roster of seminars and speakers is here.

Download the registration form here (or download a fillable PDF here).

I cannot attend the entire conference, but I’ll be there on Friday. Please stop by and say hi.

The conference will be held at the Desert Willow Conference Center in Phoenix (4340 E. Cotton Center Blvd, Phoenix, AZ). Here’s a map: