Judicial Diversity Outreach

Arizona Minority Bar Association Assistance

The Commission recognizes that each minority bar association has neither unlimited time nor resources.  This project was designed to assist them in promoting judicial diversity as efficiently as possible.  The Diversity Workgroup interviewed the sister organizations about their various judicial diversity activities and have organized that collective wisdom.
    Alerting your membership to various judicial openings
    Identifying and encouraging especially strong candidates
    Assisting Individuals who apply
    Finding out why an applicant was not selected
    Keeping your organization consistent
    Develop a pipeline of young attorneys interested in judicial careers
    Organizing materials


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ALERTING YOUR MEMBERSHIP TO VARIOUS JUDICIAL OPENINGS

What each organization does to alert their membership as to current or future judicial openings; is each organization aware of the AOC website that posts all known judicial openings?

Arizona Women Lawyers Association (AWLA)
AWLA posts notices regarding the judicial openings on their weekly e-mails that go out to all of their members.  AWLA is aware that the 
AOC website posts all openings.  We get notifications of openings through the list serve.

Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association
Los Abogados monitors judicial openings and announces positions in weekly e-mails to members and at our monthly membership luncheons.

Native American Bar Association of Arizona
NABA-AZ posts notices regarding judicial openings on its monthly e-mail announcements that go out to all its members. NABA-AZ is aware of the AOC website postings of judicial openings.


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IDENTIFYING AND ENCOURAGING ESPECIALLY STRONG CANDIDATES

What each organization does to identify specific individuals who would be especially strong candidates for any particular judicial openings and encourage them to apply;

Arizona Women Lawyers Association (AWLA)
The Arizona Women Lawyers Association tries to offer a program once a year on How to Become a Judge and encourage any AWLA members that are interested to attend.  The last such program was held in November 2010 and was one of the afternoon tracks of the AWLA annual convention.

Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association
Los Abogados tries to keep a “running tab” of members interested in judicial positions.  Most board members are actively involved in trying to identify and cultivate candidates on an on-going basis.  We discuss judicial openings and try to identify who might be interested in a certain position and we will also approach members we think have potential but have not yet expressed interest.

Native American Bar Association of Arizona
The NABA-AZ Board of Directors will receive a request from individual candidates or from a NABA-AZ member on behalf of a candidate asking for NABA-AZ’s support. Based on the overall qualifications of the candidate and nature of request, the Board will determine whether to support the candidate.


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ASSISTING MEMBERS WHO APPLY

What each organization does to assist those individuals who do apply.  For example: Do they moot court? Does the organization express its official support for any candidates to the relevant commission or appointing body and, if so, how? Does the organization identify mentors who have been through the process to assist its members in the application process?

Arizona Women Lawyers Association
We hold mock interviews for any applicants that are selected for an interview and request a mock interview from us - this is true for both superior court applicants and appellate court applicants that are AWLA members.  We also keep an archive of interview questions asked by members of the commissions.  In order to keep the archive of questions, we assign AWLA members to observe the interviews and take notes on the interviews when they occur.  We also have several AWLA members that have been appointed as judges who have volunteered to be contacted by judicial applicants that are AWLA members to discuss or assist the Applicants in the application process.

For appellate court candidates, we do endorsements.  This is only for appellate court candidates - not for superior court candidates.  Our endorsement policy is on our website (
www.awla-state.org).  Anyone that is selected for interview at the appellate court level can request our endorsement - they must supply a complete copy of their application for the judicial opening (including references) along with answers to a brief list of questions set forth on our website.  Our judicial appointments committee for the State then conducts due diligence on those requesting endorsement. Once the due diligence is completed, a vote is taken by the AWLA State Board as to whether to endorse the candidate.  If the candidate is endorsed, the current President (or another state board member) writes a letter of endorsement for the applicant on behalf of AWLA and sends it to the commission.

Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association
Los Abogados will do a mock interview with our members who request a mock interview (sometimes even multiple times) , as well as review applications prior to submission.  We have an “Appointments Committee” made up of 2-3 members identified specifically to be a point of contact for potential candidates who want assistance with their judicial applications.    Because of the diversity within our own membership and frequently we have 2 or more members applying for the same position, Los Abogados does not express official support for any judicial candidate.  Individual members are free to, and encouraged to, show support on behalf of their favorite candidates.

Native American Bar Association of Arizona
The NABA-AZ Board of Directors will provide a letter of support on behalf of the candidates/individuals. For example, in 2009, the Board submitted a letter recommending the appointment of Honorable Judge Thomas LeClaire, Maricopa County Superior Court. Also, in early 2011, the Board provided a letter of support for the appointment of Diane Humetewa to the Arizona federal bench.


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FINDING OUT WHY THE APPLICANT WAS NOT SELECTED

Does the organization make any effort to find out why a particular candidate did not get chosen and how that candidate might improve their chances the next time?

Arizona Women Lawyers Association
The only way we have figured out to currently address this is to have AWLA members assigned to take notes at the interviews take notes on comments (if any) made by commissioners when taking straw votes on those names that go up to the governor.

Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association
Yes, the appointments committee will try to determine why a candidate did not go forward and try to work with the candidate to correct the issue, if possible.  We do our best to prescreen applicants and give an honest opinion on whether or not a candidate is viable in the first place or whether to keep applying if he or she is not advancing along in the process.  We listen to the panel discussion and sometimes might speak to individual merit selection panel members to find out if there in anything non-privileged that they can share with us about a candidate’s application

Native American Bar Association of Arizona
So far, NABA-AZ has formally supported two candidates: Honorable Judge LeClaire and Diane Humetewa.


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KEEPING YOUR ORGANIZATION CONSISTENT

As board members change, what, if anything, does the organization do to keep its efforts consistent year to year?

Arizona Women Lawyers Association
We have a judicial appointments committee for the State AWLA organization as well as a judicial appts committee for each of the Maricopa Chapter and the Southern Arizona Chapter of AWLA.  These committees are responsible for recruiting new members to their committees and ensuring that new members of the committees receive information and pass it on going forward.

Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association
Keep the Appointments Committee active and staffed with members knowledgeable about the process from all areas and court processes.  Many past or present judicial offers and merit selections panelists volunteer for this duty.

Native American Bar Association of Arizona
To maintain consistency with NABA-AZ’s mission, the NABA-AZ Board of Directors conduct monthly meetings, send out monthly e-mail announcements to its membership, and host their annual events (i.e. Seventh Generation Awards Dinner, Scholarship Golf Tournment) along with CLEs, community service programs and student networking events. NABA-AZ also collaborates with the Indian Legal Program at the Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law as well as various Arizona law firms with strong Indian law practices on CLEs and other programs.


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DEVELOP A PIPELINE OF YOUNG ATTORNEY’S INTERESTED IN A JUDICIAL CAREER

What each organization does to develop a pipeline of young attorney’s interested in a judicial career.  Specifically, does the organization have any program to generate interest in judicial careers among young attorneys or law students? Does the organization have a method of providing those individuals with advice on how to develop their resumes and contacts?

Arizona Women Lawyers Association
We don't have anything specifically directed toward young attorneys other than the programs we already offer to all of our members.  The Maricopa Chapter of AWLA does have a Mentoring Committee and I believe they may address interests of students and/or young lawyers that have an interest in becoming a judge - they would likely do that by trying to pair the person up with a mentor who is an AWLA member that is also a member of the judiciary but I am not certain if this has actually been done.  However, their committee would be an avenue to do that for our young members.

Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association
While we don’t have a program specific to Los Abogados members, our members participate in other pipeline programs, like the HNBA project.   Additionally, our judicial members frequently participate in mentor programs with the law school(s) and mix with our members at business and social events.

Native American Bar Association of Arizona
NABA-AZ does not have any specific programs directed towards this objective. However, NABA-AZ works closely with Native American law students through its networking events, scholarship program and activities at Arizona law schools.


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ORGANIZING MATERIALS

Does the organization keep any database to collect the names of potential judicial candidates, samples of questions asked by merit selection boards, lists of mentors, sample letters of reference, lists of what not to do,  etc.?

Arizona Women Lawyers Association
We do have a record of the names that the commissions send to the governor and who the governor selects from those lists -(by the way, we believe the number of women ultimately selected by the governor from those lists is low according to our records).  We also keep an archive of interview questions asked by commissioners (see answer to 3 above).  In addition, applicants that are AWLA members can ask those members of any of the AWLA judicial appointments committees (State chapter, Maricopa chapter, Southern Arizona chapter) for advice and recommendations on how best to proceed with references, etc.

Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association
We keep a list of sample questions, but none of the other information mentioned is kept in written form, except for the Chair of the appointments committee.

Native American Bar Association of Arizona
No, NABA-AZ does not keep such database or records.

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