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!

It was great to see many of you at the ABA Midyear in Chicago! Despite the cold outside, ABA staff and friends gave us a “warm welcome” making it well worth the trek. I am happy to report that our committee continued to do terrific work during our short stay in Chicago. With the help of the Staff Counsel Committee, we began our meeting with a youth outreach program, where we made a presentation about law as a career path to kids at the Edmund Burke Elementary School. Our presentation was extremely well received. In fact, after we left we heard that students were wondering when we would be coming back for another presentation (and, let’s be honest – how often do we get that sort of welcome in our careers as lawyers?) We plan to repeat the program at each of our TIPS meeting sites, so stay tuned on how you can get involved in this terrific and impactful project.

In Chicago, we also continued our Diversity speaker series “View from the Trenches” featuring some of Chicago’s finest lawyers – Sandra Yamate, Gary Gassman and Denise Avant. Again, we plan to continue this series at future meetings so be sure to be on the lookout for information or let me know if you know of someone who would be an engaging speaker for our series. You can find a more detailed write up about this event , as well as some other events, in the 2014 Winter edition of Embracing Diversity Newsletter, so please be sure to check it out.

Finally, while I won’t have an opportunity to remind you again in person, you should know that we are still actively seeking applicants for our TIPS Connect! Scholarship Program – this exciting initiative is intended to increase and encourage the number of diverse participants at our many wonderful events and perhaps even join our TIPS family. So, if you know a leader who is an active participant of a bar association that supports our diversity mission then please encourage them to apply, or simply forward their contact information to our committee liaison Jennifer LaChance and we can do get the materials to them. Our deadline is April 30, 2014 and more information can be obtained on the sidebar on the left.

We have more planned of course, but I hate to ruin a surprise. Hope to see you in May for our next meeting!

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.

Related Products

The Diversity Factor: Capturing the Competitive Advantage DVD
Presented by the ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) and the TIPS Diversity in the Profession Committee, this video explores the grow... more

Programs, Meetings and Events

Committee Events
TIPS Spring Diversity In The Profession Committee Meeting
May 15, 2014
Our next committee meeting will be held during the ABA TIPS Spring 2014 Meeting in Boca Raton, FL on Thursday, May 15, 2014.
TIPS Diversity Panel: A View from the Trenches
May 15, 2014
On Thursday, May 15th, 2014 at 4 PM, in the Boca Raton Resort and Club, the TIPS Diversity Committee will present Part 3 of it’s hour-long program TIPS Diversity Series: A View from the Trenches. This program will highlight the diversity strides and advances within the Florida legal system and will feature interactive panelists who hope to further educate and promote the Section’s commitment to justice.  
Section Events
April 24, 2014 - April 26, 2014
Park Hyatt Aviara
Format: Live/In-Person

April 24, 2014
Location: N/A
Format: Webinar/Teleconference


Chair:  Daniel G Acosta

Director:  Darcee S Siegel

Chair-Elect:  Deborah W Yue

Last Retiring Chair:  John Francis Stephens

Liaison:  Darrion Walker

Staff:  Jennifer LaChance

Committee Roster (27 total members)

ABA Diversity Awards

Click here for information on the latest ABA Diversity Awards!

TIPS Connect!

New in 2013-2014! The committee recently launched a scholarship initiative for external bar association outreach including: the National Bar Association; the Hispanic Bar Association; the NAPABA; the National LGBT Bar Association; and the Native American Bar Association. The TIPS CONNECT! initiative promotes attendance by various minority bar association members to TIPS meetings in Chicago (ABA Mid-Year), Boca Raton (TIPS Spring Leadership) and Boston (ABA Annual).

Newsletters and Minutes


Embracing Diversity Newsletter Winter/Spring 2014

Embracing Diversity Newsletter Fall 2013

Embracing Diversity Newsletter Summer 2013

Embracing Diversity Newsletter Spring 2013

Embracing Diversity Newsletter Winter 2013

Embracing Diversity Newsletter Fall 2012


November 2013 Minutes

October 2013 Minutes

August 2013 Minutes

July 2013 Minutes

April 2013 Minutes

March 2013 Minutes

February 2013 Minutes


Section Diversity Mission Statement & Plan

TIPS Diversity Statement
TIPS Diversity Plan

Sites of Interest

ABA Diverse Speakers Database
Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights & Responsibilities
Commission on Disability Rights
Commission on Racial & Ethnic Diversity in the Profession
Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
Commission on Women in the Profession
Center for Racial and Ethnic Diversity
Coalition on Racial and Ethnic Justice
Council for Racial and Ethnic Justice
National Bar Association
National LGBT Bar Association
National Hispanic Bar Association
National Native American Bar Association
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
National Association of Women Lawyers

Modified by Jennifer LaChance on April 10, 2014

Back to Top