Pathways to Judicial Diversity
A Judicial Council Initiative to Promote Diversity on the Bench

Stronger Together: Judicial Diversity Summit 2021. Presented by California Lawyers Association, California Judges Association, and Judicial California of CaliforniaJudicial Diversity Summit 2021

The “Stronger Together: Judicial Diversity Summit 2021” will be held remotely on three Tuesday evenings on September 14, 21 and 28. This Judicial Diversity Summit is co-sponsored by the Judicial Council of California, California’s Lawyers Association and California Judges Association and has been held every five years since 2006 to assess the efforts to increase judicial diversity in California, and to make recommendations for future activities and initiatives to diversify the judiciary. The intended audience for the summit is judicial officers, attorneys and law students.

The Judicial Diversity Summit will include opening remarks by Hon. Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, Chief Justice of California, remarks from Governor Newsom’s Appointments Secretary Luis Céspedes and leaders throughout the judiciary and the legal community. The Summit will provide an overview of the current state of judicial diversity and cover a number of topics including how the branch and legal community can work together to improve Judicial Diversity; the role of new programs aimed at improving diversity, like the newly announced California Judicial Mentor Program; and how courts can increase diversity in the Court of Appeals through judicial assignments.

Summit Schedule

Summit Day 1, 9/14: Judicial Diversity Today

4:30 PM - 6:00 PM

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Opening Remarks:

  • Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, Chief Justice of California
  • Hon. Thomas Delaney, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Orange and  President of the California Judges Association
  • Emilio Varanini, Attorney, President of the California Lawyers Association

Level Set:  How are We Doing? 
Hear a report from the co-chair and members of the Judicial Council of California’s Advisory Committee on Providing Access and Fairness, Justice Luis Lavin, Judge Elizabeth Macias and Judge Yew, on the current state of judicial diversity, the work that has occurred since 2016 and why a diverse judiciary serves the public interest and improves public trust and confidence.

  • Hon. Luis Lavin, Associate Justice of the Second Appellate District
  • Hon. Elizabeth Macias, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Orange
  • Hon. Erica Yew, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara

Judicial Diversity:  A Facilitated Discussion on the Definition of Judicial Diversity

  • Michael Roosevelt, Senior Analyst, Judicial Council of California


Summit Day 2, 9/21: What Works

4:30 PM - 6:00 PM

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What is the Judicial Nominations Evaluation (JNE) Commission doing differently? 
Learn what the JNE Commission is doing differently since the last Summit

  • Stella Ngai, Attorney, Chair of the JNE Commission

California’s New Judicial Mentoring Program
Learn more about the new Statewide Judicial Mentoring Program, comprised of an Appellate Court Mentor Program and a Trial Court Mentor Program.  The initiative aims to demystify the appellate and trial court application process and improve transparency and accessibility for all members of the legal community throughout California, fostering the development of a qualified and diverse judicial applicant pool.  

  • Hon. Paul Bacigalupo, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles and Chair, California Judicial Mentor Program
  • Hon. Erica Yew, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara and Co-chair, California Judicial Mentor Program Executive Committee

Side Bar Conversation: The “Perceived” Glass Ceiling
This “Side Bar” conversation will focus specifically on the experiences and perspectives of women and LGBTQ judges or justices on the bench and share what the judicial branch is currently doing to further the goal of a more diverse and representative judiciary.

  • Hon. Marsha Slough, Associate Justice of the Fourth Appellate District
  • Hon. D. Zeke Zeidler, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
  • Hon. Laura Walton, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles


Summit Day 3, 9/28: Judicial Diversity Tomorrow

4:30 PM - 6:30 PM

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Judicial Track - Elevation and Courtroom Assignments
This track for judicial officers will focus on a discussion about judicial assignments at the trial court level, as well as elevation to the Courts of Appeal. 

  • Hon. Kevin Brazile, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
  • Hon. Lorna Alksne, Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego
  • Hon. Joshua Groban, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California
  • Hon. Teri Jackson, Presiding Justice of the First Appellate District, Division Five
  • Hon. Ann Moorman, Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Mendocino

Attorney Track:- Get Creative: Alternative Paths to the Bench 
This track, open to all attendees, will discuss alternative pathways to the bench, including running for judicial election in an open seat, or becoming a Commissioner or an Administrative Law Judge.  

  • Hon. Maria Evangelista, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco
  • Hon. Jayne Lee, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of San Joaquin
  • Hon. Terrie Roberts, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego
  • Hon. Kristin Rosi, Chief Administrative Law Judge for the California Department of Insurance

Keynote Address

  • Luis Céspedes, Judicial Appointments Secretary, Office of Governor Gavin Newsom


See More Details at the California Lawyers Association site

Spread the Word

This event only happens once every five years, so we want to make sure all interested parties are aware of the opportunity to participate.  Please help us spread the word about this impactful multi-day event by circulating the event flyer and/or directing people to this web page.  Thank you in advance for your support and assistance!  

Click here for the Summit Flyer


Presented by the California Lawyers Association, California Judges Association, and Judicial Council of California. Supported by the California Lawyers Foundation.


The summit and pre-events were planned with the assistance and collaboration of the following organizations:

Association of African American California Judicial Officers (AAACJO)
California Asian Pacific American Bar Association (Cal-APABA)
California Asian Pacific American Judges Association (CAPAJA)
California Association of Black Lawyers (CABL), Judicial Section
California ChangeLawyers
California Judges Association
California Indian Law Association (CILA)
California La Raza Lawyers Association
California Latino Judges Association (CLJA)
California Lawyers Association (CLA)
California Women Lawyers (CWL)
Disability Rights of California
Iranian American Bar Association (IABA), Orange County
Judicial Council of California
LGBT Judicial Officers of California (LGBT JOC)
McGeorge School of Law
SacLegal


Please contact jds@jud.ca.gov or JDS@calawyers.org if you have any questions about this event.
If you need an accommodation or for inquiries about accessibility, please contact JDS@calawyers.org or (916) 516-1721 by July 20, 2021.