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February 2008

DILP Minutes February 5, 2008

Attendees:  Cindy Hyman, Kathleen Nalty, Damian Arguello, Andy McCallin, Sally Maresh, Andrea Mueller, and Syddnia Wulff.

Minutes:  December minutes were reviewed and approved.

Conference Scholarships - Cindy Hyman:

Cindy reported that we have just over $54,000 in the conference account left over for scholarships.  As we originally discussed, she talked with both schools to learn their preferences for how to use the scholarship funds.

DU prefers that the money be given to continuing students.  That is their greatest need.  They suggested we use the language in the Pledge 1L program to define diversity since that’s been used before.  Because the students are enrolled at DU, we can ask them to submit a brief essay discussing how they will contribute to diversity in the Colorado legal community.  If we set a GPA minimum, they would prefer it be 2.8 or 2.9.  Many scholarship donors put 3.0 limits, which disqualifies many good students with other issues in their lives, who most need the help and will still be fine lawyers. 

CU prefers that we give the money in the form of one or two scholarships to entering students that will last for three years.  Because the application doesn’t discuss whether they intend to practice in CO, CU recommends we limit the scholarship to CO residents.  However, 85% of their students stay in Colorado.  For CU, the language must only say that the scholarships are designed to encourage diversity in the CU law school.  CU also suggested we could do an endowed scholarship, with the annual interest going in the form of a scholarship.  (This would probably work for DU as well, but wasn’t discussed with DU.)   Their best estimate was that the annual scholarship would be around $1000.

The committee discussed other options for the scholarship funds, including LSAT preparation.  We concluded that the sponsors were told the money would go for scholarships, so we should honor that.  Cindy presented letters that contained proposed language approved by the schools.  We decided to give the scholarships to continuing DU students, using the Pledge 1L language to define diversity.  The CU scholarship money would go to entering students who are CO residents and will add to the diversity of the law school.  For both schools, we agreed to allow the schools to determine the recipients, that they have a reasonable potential to succeed in the practice of law, and that they have some financial need.

Our committee recommendation will be presented to the CBA Executive Committee and the DBA Board of Governors for final approval.

CCIE – Kathleen Nalty:

Kathleen displayed the proposed workbook on creating an Inclusive Environment.  The Denver Foundation still must approve the language.  They are working on a webpage and on the 2nd Annual Rocky Mountain Legal Diversity Summit on March 19.

High School Diversity Conference – Kathleen Nalty, Cindy Hyman and Damian Arguello:

All three attended the conference and reported that it was a great event, with high energy.  This was a good expenditure of DILP funds.