American Bar Association
Special Standing Committees: Diversity in the Profession
TIPS Section

Special Standing Committees:
Diversity in the Profession

Committee Goals

The function of the TIPS Standing Committee on Diversity in the Profession is to promote involvement of attorneys of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, women attorneys, attorneys with disabilities and attorneys who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans gender into the membership and leadership of the Section and to promote greater awareness and appreciation of the Section's diversity goals. The Committee will accomplish this goal through publications, CLE programs, networking receptions, assistance to the Section's General Committees and outreach programs on the local and national levels.

Message from the Chair

Message from the Chair: Dan Acosta

Hola from sunny New Mexico!

Thanks to all of you who were able to tear yourselves away from your desks to join us in Boca Raton at the Spring meeting in May. Hard to believe we were greeted with rain! Despite the drizzle, what we accomplished was well worth the trek. We were fortunate enough to partner with Staff Counsel and the Law in Public Service Committee to do an education awareness project with William Dandy Middle School. We volunteers were greeted with a cafeteria-full of students in the pre-law program. (Yes, you read correctly – pre-law!) After a brief PowerPoint presentation we broke out into groups and got to interact with students who eagerly asked us the tough questions like “what is negligence?” and other questions I haven’t pondered since law school! It was great to interact with such eager and energetic kids and I am sure they will be great additions to the profession.

Another highlight was our View From the Trenches speaker series – this time we were fortunate enough to hear from Ervin Gonzales of Colson Hicks Eidson, Rand Hoch of the Beach County Human Rights Council, the Honorable Marcia Cook from the US District Court Southern District of Florida, James Kracht from the American Association of Visually Impaired Attorneys. The panel was moderated by TIPS Diversity Officer Darcee Siegel. Each of these sessions is unique and we have been fortunate to have engaging guests sharing their story about diversity struggles and successes they have experienced. If you haven’t had an opportunity to attend one of these events, please be on the lookout for our next program.

Finally, I have only a few more months before I pass along my role as chair to the next incoming Chair, Deborah Yue. It has been a pleasure to serve as Chair of this amazing and hard working committee. We have accomplished so much over the last two years and I want to thank each and every member of our committee who put aside their busy lives to help us achieve diversity and inclusion in our profession. I would like to give special recognition to our incoming Chair Deborah Yue and Chair- Elect Akira Heshiki for their tireless work on our newsletter and web page and wish them continued success as they move this committee to greater heights.

Finally, I would be remiss in not recognizing the outstanding work of our ABA Staff Liaison, Jennifer LaChance, who goes out of her way to make us look good and has been instrumental in making our Middle School Outreach Program the talk of the Section and a huge success. Thank you Jennifer! We couldn't have done it without you.

I hope to see you all at the annual meeting in August in Boston! It will be wicked fun!

All the Best,


Chair, 2012-2014 Diversity in the Profession Committee

Dan Acosta is a Division Attorney in charge of legal education and training for the Claims Litigation Department of Farmers Insurance Company. Farmers employs over 500 attorneys in 60 locations nationwide. He is a former Chair of the Staff Counsel Committee and resides in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Committee Member Spotlight

John Francis Stephens
Partner with Sedgwick LLP
TIPS Member since 2000

Why do you believe Diversity important to TIPS?
It is essential as diversity is our future and our destiny. We are a diverse nation and all aspects of the US including the legal profession must embrace diversity. For some change is hard, but we in TIPS should welcome the change and lead by example. TIPS has been doing some great work to further the ABA goals of diversity. The Diversity Committee has been spearheading a lot of that work.

What is your favorite/best memory thing about working on this committee?
Producing the Diversity Video. It was challenging, interesting and a lot of fun. I enjoyed every minute of it. And I met so many professionals dedicated to diversity in the legal profession. I found the experience inspiring.

What does “success” look like for this committee?
Success means no more Diversity Committee as it will be unnecessary. I would like to think we are not that far away from that vision, and it is achievable.

Programs, Meetings and Events

Committee Events

TIPS Fall 2014 Diversity in the Profession Committee Meeting

October 16, 2014
The Diversity Committee will meet on Thursday, October 16th from 1:30 to 3:00 PM at The Meritage Hotel and Spa in Napa, CA.   
Section Events

    Current Trends in Asbestos Litigation


    FREE FOR TIPS MEMBERS!!! Don't miss this valuable complimentary webinar, part of the TIPS Member Mondays CLE Webinar Series, and hear the experts at handling asbestos cases cover the latest developments in this national litigation. Learn the most recent updates in the law regarding experts who rely ...

    TIPS 2014 Fall Leadership Meeting

    The Meritage Resort and Spa

    Join us for the TIPS Fall Leadership Meeting, October 15-19, 2014 at the Meritage Resort & Spa in the beautiful wine country of Napa, California. We are very excited to welcome you to Napa, as it's the Section's first time back since the Spring of 2004. Featuring valuable networking events, important ...

    A Global View: What's New In Aviation and Space Law - Litigation in the U.S. and Abroad

    The Ritz-Carlton

    This program is the quintessential opportunity for long time practitioners and lawyers new to aviation law, to meet, interact and discuss what lies ahead in our industry.We hope to see you in our beautiful nation's Capitol for two stimulating days of learning, networking and



Yue, Deborah


Siegel, Darcee
Tamoor, Yasmean

ABA Staff:

LaChance, Jennifer

Committee Roster  

ABA Diversity Awards

Click here for information on the latest ABA Diversity Awards!

Newsletters and Minutes

Section Diversity Mission Statement & Plan

Sites of Interest

Modified by on September 10, 2014

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