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Next Gen Lawyering: DEI, Professional Identity, and the Practice of Law

Ruby R. Vale Moot Courtroom

4/14/2023 08:30am - 4:30pm

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are increasingly being recognized as core values in building a just legal system and in the practice of law. This symposium will bring together legal educators, judges, practicing lawyers, and law students to better understand and integrate DEI as an important part of a lawyer’s work and in achieving justice. Widener Law Review will explore these issues in our upcoming DEI Symposium on April 14, 2023. This all day event will feature Chief Justice Collins J. Seitz, Jr. of the Delaware Supreme Court as well as other members of the Delaware legal community. With much enthusiasm, we invite you to join us and to save the date.

5 CLE ETHICS credits in Delaware, Pennsylvania – New Jersey may self-report.


Register Online for the Event



8:30 a.m. Registration Check-In and Continental Breakfast

9:00 – 9:15 a.m. Welcome and Introductory Overview
Alicia B. Kelly, Interim Dean and Professor of Law, Widener University Delaware Law School
Caleb Kincaid, Editor-in-Chief, Widener Law Review

9:15 – 10:15 a.m. DEI as a Core Value of Law & Why Diversity Matters
Panel Chair: DLS Interim Dean Alicia B. Kelly
Panelists: Collins J. Seitz Jr. (Chief Justice, Delaware Supreme Court); Alicia B. Kelly (Interim Dean and Professor of Law, Delaware Law School); Todd Clark (incoming Dean, Delaware Law School).
Facilitator: Micki Davis (Chief Diversity Officer, Widener University)

10:15 – 10:30 a.m. Break

10:30 – 11:30 a.m. Decentering Privileged Perspectives in Legal Education
This panel includes the relevant ABA standards and Rules of Professional Conduct
Panel Chair: Assistant Professor Sara Hildebrand, Delaware Law School
Panelists: Iva Ferrell (Associate Professor, Delaware Law School); Eric Kniskern (Director of Recruitment & Diversity Enrollment Initiatives, Delaware Law School ); Tracey Baker (2023 JD Candidate, Delaware Law School); Kathleen Vavala ( Disciplinary Counsel, Delaware Supreme Court ); TaWanda Hunter Stallworth, MDiv (Antiracist Development Institute Program Manager, Penn State Dickinson Law).

11:30 am – 12:30 p.m. DEI and Dignity
This panel focuses on how the values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging advance and protect the inherent and equal human dignity of all people.
Panel Co-Chairs: James R. May, Distinguished Professor, Delaware Law School & Erin Daly, Professor of Law, Delaware Law School
Panelists: Dwayne Bensing (Legal Director, ACLU of Delaware; Dennis Coker (Chief, Lenape Indian Tribe of Delaware; Michele Roberts (National Co-Coordinator of the Environmental Justice Health Alliance); Madhuri Ray ('22, Delaware Law School)

12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Lunch – Barristers’ Club

1:45 – 2:45 p.m. DEI & Legal Decision-making in Legislative & Judicial Systems
Panel Chair: DLS Professor Keeshea Roberts Turner (moderator)
Panelists: Selena E. Molina (Master in Chancery, Delaware Court of Chancery); William L. Chapman Jr. (Chief Diversity Officer & Sr. Counsel, Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP); Chris Johnson (Councilman, Wilmington City Council & DLS Alum); Nathaniel (Nick) C. Nichols (Judge (ret.), Delaware County Court of Common Pleas); pending availability Senator S. Elizabeth “Tizzy” Lockman (Delaware Senate).

2:45 – 3:00 pm Break

3:00 – 4:15 p.m. DEI in Law Practice
The panel will include discussion of best practices, cultural competency and effective lawyering.
Panel Chair: Joseph D. Farris III, Asst. Dean of DEI, Delaware Law School (moderator)
Panelists: Felicia Brownell (Brownell Law Group LLC); Deborah R. Edwards (Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP); Alexander S. Mackler (Chief Deputy Attorney General, Delaware Department of Justice); Paige C. Chapman (Public Defender, Delaware Office of Defense Services); Shannon Mace (Executive Director, HELP:Medical Legal Partnership).

4:15 – 4:30 p.m. Closing Remarks
Caleb Kincaid, Editor-in-Chief, Widener Law Review
Alicia B. Kelly, Interim Dean and Professor of Law, Widener University Delaware Law School