Diversity Law Institute

The Diversity Law Institute (DLI) is a nonprofit international association of lawyers and law firms committed to diversity in all aspects of the legal profession and justice systems of the United States and Canada. Its purpose and mission is to advance the interests of women and minorities in the profession and to aid in the administration of justice wherever possible. Its current membership exceeds 3,700 private practice lawyers, judges, in-house counsel and legal scholars. Members are from every U.S. state and the provinces of Canada, and also include representatives from Europe and Asia. More information about the DLI may be found at www.diversitylawinstitute.org.

Membership in the DLI is open to all North American lawyers and law firms, in every area of practice, and is contemporaneous with Litigation Counsel of America (LCA) and Construction Lawyers Society of America (CLSA) Fellowships. Law firm memberships, sponsorships and support are encouraged.

In 2011, the DLI began work on Law Suits for Justice, a program designed to provide criminal defendants with appropriate courtroom attire for purposes of reducing negative perceptions while on trial. For more information, contact Avery Henry at Avery.Henry@nulldiversitylawinstitute.org.

The DLI also coordinates with the Trial Law Institute (TLI) to create through member contributions an archive on jury demographics in jurisdictions throughout North America. For more information on the archive, contact G. Steven Henry at Steve.Henry@nulllitcounsel.org.

The concept for the DLI originated in 2008 through Litigation Counsel of America (LCA) Executive Director & General Counsel G. Steven Henry, LCA Chief Operating Officer Dottie M. Henry, and LCA Fellows Charles E. Griffin, Sr. (MS) and Judge Rickey J. McKinney (AL).  The late Jock M. Smith (AL) of the Cochran Firm was a contributor to the concept beginning in 2009, along with then-LCA President Jack M. Williams (GA), of Jones Day, whose former firm Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP, sponsored the DLI’s first Diversity Summit in Atlanta. Since then, all LCA Presidents including Sharla J. Frost (TX), the late J. Ric Gass (1943 – 2019), Peter Perlman (KY), the late William E. Wegner (1950 – 2021),  Justice Karen F. Green (MA), Rusty Hardin (TX), Marguerite S. Willis (SC), Kenneth J. DeMoura (MA) and Thomas A. Mesereau, Jr. (CA) have helped in expanding the potential elements and influence of the DLI by broadening membership among minority-owned law firms across the U.S.  Official formation of the DLI as a separate association took place in 2011 and, respecting the efforts of other organizations engaging in diversity-based initiatives, thereafter the institute set its sights on focused initiatives deemed purposeful for growth and continuity, with development of additional pro-diversity objectives as its goal.

For information regarding membership in the DLI or sponsorship of the DLI, contact Avery Henry at Avery.Henry@nulldiversitylawinstitute.org.


DLI Advisory Board

Sheryl L. Axelrod, Co-Chair
The Axelrod Firm, PC
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Thomas A. Mesereau, Jr., Co-Chair
Mesereau Law Group, APC
Los Angeles, California

The Honorable Helen C. Adams
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa
Davenport, Iowa

Benny Agosto, Jr.
Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels,
Agosto, Aziz & Stogner
Houston, Texas

Andrew Berger
Leichtman Law PLLC
New York, New York

Joseph C. Blanton, Jr.
Blanton, Nickell, Collins, Douglas & Hanschen, LLC
Sikeston, Missouri

Stacy A. Broman
Meagher & Geer, P.L.L.P.
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Ernest Calderón
Calderón Law Offices PLC
Phoenix, Arizona

Bradfute W. Davenport, Jr. (Fellow Emeritus)
Troutman Sanders LLP
Richmond, Virginia

Heather S. Heidelbaugh
Leech Tishman Fuscaldo & Lampl LLC
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Dottie M. Henry, COO
Litigation Counsel of America
Seaside, Florida

Michael HuYoung
Barnes & Diehl, P.C.
Richmond, Virginia

Sidney K. Kanazawa
Alternative Resolution Centers
Los Angeles, California

Linda A. Klein
Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell
& Berkowitz, PC
Atlanta, Georgia

Richard C. Kraus (Fellow Emeritus)
Foster Swift Collins & Smith PC
Lansing, Michigan

Hector J. Lombana
Lombana Hoelle Trial Law
Coral Gables, Florida

John Burritt McArthur
The Law Office of John Burritt McArthur
Berkeley, California

Steven W. Ouzts (Fellow Emeritus)
Turner Padget Graham & Laney, P.A.
Columbia, South Carolina

Manny D. Pokotilow
Caesar Rivise, PC
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Diane L. Polscer
Gordon & Polscer, L.L.C.
Portland, Oregon

James G. Sawtelle
Sherman & Howard L.L.C.
Denver, Colorado

Larry D. Smith (Fellow Emeritus)
Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell, P.A.
Orlando, Florida

Benjamin J. Trichilo
McCandlish Lillard
Fairfax, Virginia

Talitha Davies Wegner
Davies Wegner Law
Los Angeles, California


2024 LCA Conference & Celebration of Fellows

October 23-25, 2024
Four Seasons Jackson Hole
Jackson Hole, Wyoming

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