Diversity & Inclusion

Department Programs

The D&I Department administers a number of programs to support its mission, the flagship program for law students being the Opportunites for Law in Oregon (OLIO) Program.

OLIO is a fundamental tool for recruiting and retaining diverse legal talent in Oregon and increasing the diversity of the Oregon State Bar. OLIO fosters an engaged, supportive and inclusive legal community necessary to advance our legal profession and improve legal services to an increasingly diverse population, clients and customers, locally and globally.

The following video provides a window into the OLIO program and its benefits, in the participants' own words:

Opportunities for Law in Oregon (OLIO) is the Oregon State Bar's recruitment and retention program for law students who can contribute to the bar's historically or currently underrepresented membership; who have experienced economic, social, or other barriers; who have a demonstrated interest in increasing access to justice; or who have personally experienced discrimination or oppression.

This diversity and inclusion program begins with an orientation that provides a diverse group of first-year law students at Oregon's three law schools. with the opportunity to interact with each other, and with upper division students, judges and leaders who will serve as their mentors and role models. During orientation, students meet a diverse community of supporters committed to helping them succeed. The curriculum focuses on sharpening existing skills and providing new skills to help ensure success in law school and beyond.

OLIO participants also have opportunities to reconnect throughout the year at several OLIO events. More information about OLIO and other D&I programs.

Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (ACDI)

The Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Committee serves as a key resource to assist the OSB in advancing diversity and inclusion in all the bar’s mission areas, programs and activities. This committee of 21 volunteer attorneys, one OSB liaison, one Board of Governor's Contact and two public members is a critical part of the Diversity & Inclusion Department.

ACDI Committee Roster

Ms. Masih, Aruna A    Chairperson
Mr. Hernandez, Tomas     Secretary
Ms. Alverson, Carlotta O    Member
Ms. Washington, Molly A    Member
Ms. Martinez, Melina     Member
Ms. Low, May Y    Member
Mr. Spyker, Javier D    Member
Ms. Carter, Ashley M    Member
Ms. Reddy, SreeVamshi C    Member
Ms. Mota, Mariel Sofia    Member
Ms. McGlaughlin, Sarah     Member
Mr. Aggrey, Nathaniel     Member
Ms. Wadia, Yazmin     Member
Mr. Johnson, Robert B    Member
Mr. Nguyen, Toan-Hao B    Member
Ms. Reading, Julie D    Member
Hesbrook, Joseph     BOG Contact
Ms. Lee, Karen D    Bar Liaison
Ms. Kim, Janna Beth M    Advisory Member
Ms. Velasquez, Sofia     Public Member
Cowal, Janet T    Public Member
Ms. Neri, Karen Andal    OAAP Liaison
Ms. Commissiong, Nicole Rachael    Advisory Member
Ms. Myles, Phylis Chadwell    Advisory Member

Diversity & Inclusion Staff

Karen Lee - she/her
Interim Director of Diversity & Inclusion
phone: (503) 431-6382

Hugo Gonzalez Venegas - he/him
Diversity & Inclusion - External Coordinator
phone: (503) 431-6335
fax: (503) 598-6999

Oregon Law Schools

Lewis & Clark Law School

Willamette University College of Law

University of Oregon School of Law

Thinking About Becoming an Attorney?
The following links are resources that may assist you as you begin to explore a career in the legal profession.

Council on Legal Education Opportunities

College Resource Network - Scholarship Search Engine

For People of Color – Empowering People of Color to Enter Law School and Become Attorneys

For People of Color - Guide to Law School Application Process

Tips from the American Bar Association (ABA) on Preparing for Law School

Law School Admission Council (LSAC)

Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) Dates

Oregon Law School Admissions Offices:

Lewis & Clark Law School

University of Oregon School of Law

Willamette University College of Law

Affinity Bars

OAPABA - Oregon Asian Pacific American Bar Association
Website: oapaba.org
President: Kristin Asai - kristin.asai@hklaw.com
President-Elect: Maxine Tuan

OAPABA’s Mission Statement:
Advancement: To promote the professional development and advancement of APA attorneys through education, research and programs.
Advocacy: To act as a vehicle and forum for expressing opinions on matters of concern to APA attorneys and our communities.
Communication: To encourage and foster communication among APA attorneys on issues affecting our work, communities and government.

OCLA - Oregon Chinese Lawyers Association
Website: http://oregonchineselawyers.org
President: Emery Wang - emery@vameswang.com

The OCLA is a directory of Chinese-speaking lawyers in Oregon. The Oregon Chinese Lawyers Association helps identify lawyers in Oregon who speak Chinese, to better provide legal services to Oregon’s Chinese-speaking community. Lawyers who speak Chinese are relatively uncommon in Oregon. The OCLA was formed to identify Chinese-speaking lawyers in the state, to help connect Chinese-speaking lawyers in different practice areas with the Chinese-speaking clients who need their services. If you are a lawyer who speaks Chinese, OCLA would love to hear from you. Membership in OCLA is free. To become a member, please contact Emery Wang.

OC-NBA – Oregon Chapter of National Bar Association
Website: https://ocnba.org
President: Dexter Pearce – ocnbapresident@gmail.com

The OC-NBA is Oregon’s bar association for Black attorneys. For more information, please contact ocnbapresident@gmail.com.

The objectives of the OC-NBA are to:

  • Advance the Rule of Law[1] to ensure access to justice;
  • Uphold the honor and integrity of the legal profession;
  • Preserve the independence of the judiciary;
  • Promote professional and social engagement opportunities among Black[2] lawyers, law students, members of the Bar, and the Oregon community; and
  • Protect civil and political rights and seek to improve the social and economic condition of Black people and their allies.

[1] Definition of Rule of Law: https://worldjusticeproject.org/about-us/overview/what-rule-law
[2] OC-NBA is using “Black” inclusively. This includes individuals who identify themselves as Black, African American, or individuals of African descent.

OFALA – Oregon Filipino American Lawyers Association
Website: www.oregonfala.org
President: Peter Sabido - psabido@chernofflaw.com
President-Elect: Alexis Baello

OFALA is the Oregon Filipino American Lawyers Association, formed to serve the Filipino American legal community in Oregon. They are a professional association of Filipino American judges, lawyers, law students and legal professionals, and supporters. They work together to share and validate their experiences as Filipino American legal professionals, increase the visibility of Filipino American legal professionals and their accomplishments, promote equality and multiculturalism by increasing diversity within the Oregon State Bar and within the broader legal system, empower Oregon’s Filipino American community by increasing its access to the legal system, cultivate relationships between the Oregon Filipino American Lawyers Association and other Filipino American organizations, and, last but not least, celebrate Filipino American culture and heritage. OFALA is an affiliate of the National Filipino American Lawyers Association (NFALA) and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA).

OGALLA – The LGBT Bar Association of Oregon
Website: ogalla.org
Chair: Hugo Gonzalez Venegas - hegonza41@gmail.com

OGALLA, the LGBT Bar Association of Oregon, is an association of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender lawyers, judges, legal workers, law students, and others who support the association's purposes. Founded in January of 1991, OGALLA was created as a statewide organization to support the needs of sexual minorities and gender non-conforming people in the legal profession. OGALLA has nearly 150 members, and is associated with the National LGBT Bar, an affiliate of the American Bar Association.

OHBA – Oregon Hispanic Bar Association
Website: www.oregonhispanicbar.org
Juliana Minn - jminn808@gmail.com
Stanton Gallegos - stantongallegos@markowitzherbold.com

The Oregon Hispanic Bar Association (OHBA) was founded in 2002 to improve the conditions for lawyers of Hispanic and Latin heritage in Oregon. One of the oldest affinity bars, OHBA encourages Latinx individuals to become attorneys; collaborates with other organizations to retain Latinx legal professionals; raises awareness of Latinx legal issues; supports Latinx law students and legal professionals; and celebrates the achievement of Latinx legal professionals.

OHBA has a rich history of creating and supporting programs and scholarships to achieve its mission, including an annual $1,000 scholarship to support Oregon Latinx high school students interested in pursuing legal careers; three scholarships to Latinx students from Oregon’s law schools to attend the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) Annual Convention and to compete in the HNBA’s national moot court competition; the Evening With series designed to profile Latinx leaders; and its Annual Awards Dinner. OHBA also hosts numerous continuing legal education panels and networking events designed to highlight prominent Latinx attorneys and others in the legal profession.

OMLA – Oregon Minority Lawyers Association
Website: http://www.omlalawyers.com
Co-chair: Chase Morinaka - chase@lawyerspdx.com
Co-chair: Louise Hansen

Founded in 1991, OMLA sponsors numerous activities and programs each year, including:

  • Networking and Social events in Portland, Salem, Eugene and Bend.
  • Fundraising for their Bar Exam Preparation Scholarship.
  • Scholarship Administration for the Angel Lopez Scholarship, Business Law Section Scholarship and Litigation Section Scholarships.
  • Quarterly Luncheons on issues of interest to their membership. Past speakers have included the Governor of Oregon, Supreme Court Justices, and many prominent minority attorneys.
  • Participation in statewide committees and task forces including the Oregon Supreme Court Task force on Racial and Ethnic issues in the Judicial System and the OSB Diversity section.
  • Amicus Curiae briefs filed on issues such as Interpreters in the Courtroom and same sex marriages.
  • Sponsorship of Legal Education Programs including the Oregon State Bar Diversity & Inclusion Department’s Opportunities for Law in Oregon, Oregon Hate Crimes Conference (2000), Convocation on Equality (2001), Attorney Recruitment and Retention (2001), ABA National Conference of the Minority Lawyer (2003-2005).
  • A monthly electronic newsletter with a distribution of over 700 attorneys. The e-newsletter contains information about upcoming OMLA sponsored events, events of interest to the community, as well as job opportunities and announcements.

OWLS – Oregon Women Lawyers
Website: www.oregonwomenlawyers.org
Executive Director: Linda Tomassi - executivedirector@oregonwomenlawyers.org
President: Maya Crawford Peacock - maya@cej-oregon.org

The mission of Oregon Women Lawyers is to transform the practice of law and ensure justice and equality by advancing women and minorities in the legal profession.

The principal purposes of Oregon Women Lawyers are:

  • To promote equal rights and opportunities for women and minorities within the legal profession and the justice system
  • To promote full participation of women and minorities in the organized bar and in the legislative and judicial branches of government.
  • To provide opportunities for women and minorities in the legal profession to support and educate one another
  • To improve the quality and image of the legal profession in Oregon
  • To actively promote equality and fair treatment of all people within the legal profession and in society.

SABA Oregon – South Asian Bar Association Oregon Chapter
Website: https://www.sabaor.org
2019-2020 President: Somya Kaushik - sabaoregon@gmail.com
2019-2020 Vice President: Aruna Masih - aruna@bennetthartman.com

The South Asian Bar Association of North America is the umbrella organization for all SABA chapters and South Asian legal professionals throughout North America. SABA chapters seek to strengthen the rapidly growing South Asian legal community with a recognized and trusted forum for professional growth and advancement, and promote the civil rights and access to justice for the South Asian community.

Our goals and objectives at SABA OR are:
  • Professional Growth: To provide our members with mentorship, a network and development opportunities for individual law students and attorneys.
  • To promote full participation of women and minorities in the organized bar and in the legislative and judicial branches of government.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: To promote diversity and inclusion efforts that ensure equal participation in the legal profession and greater representation in the judiciary.
  • Civil Rights: To combat efforts to limit and marginalize the South Asian and immigrant communities.
  • Access to Justice: To educate the South Asian community by providing legal information and access to a network of pro bono services.

Affinity Sections

OSB Disability Law

OSB Diversity Section

OSB Indian Law

External Scholarship Opportunities for Law Students

Office of Student Access and Completion

Other Diversity Resources

2011 Oregon Legislative Report on Racial Equity

Coalition of Communities of Color

Is Race Real?

Race – Are We So Different?

Race – The Power of an Illusion

Racial Disparities in Multnomah County report

Report of the Oregon Supreme Court Task Force on Racial/Ethnic Issues in the Judicial System May 1994

Portland Indian Leaders Roundtable

Washington University - Women in Law

Job Resources

OSB Job Board