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Law School and Bar Association Programs that Encourage Lawyers and Law Students to Commit to a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Pledge

WHEREAS, There continue to be deeply embedded racial inequalities in the United States, particularly in the administration of and access to justice; and

WHEREAS, These systemic problems have increased in recent years and threaten the viability of our democracy and the rule of law; and

WHEREAS, Solutions to these problems must include both enforcement of existing civil rights laws and legal changes to strengthen these legal protections; and

WHEREAS, Enforcement and change will require a greater commitment to public service and pro bono work by lawyers and law students; and

WHEREAS, Many lawyers want to be part of the solution, but a lack of direction as to what attorneys can or should do to accomplish these goals has always been a barrier to full participation; and

WHEREAS, The legal redress committees of the NAACP across the nation are shorthanded and in great need of additional lawyer and law student support to address systemic racial injustice and inequality and fulfill the NAACP mission to "ensure the . . . equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination."

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP will urge all of its Units to work to encourage the law schools and bar associations in their jurisdictions, the Association of American Law Schools, the National Bar Association, and the American Bar Association, to take action necessary for the creation of law school and bar association diversity equity and inclusion pledge programs that will encourage and inspire lawyers and law students to make a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion pledge and to work to achieve an America that lives up to its promise of equality and freedom.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP advocate for a change in the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct to include Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Pledge.

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