October 13, 2010

Horvath, Ricchiuto Talk About Diversity, Resiliency Sessions in Law Conclave

Diversity, ethics and stress among lawyers and law students were among the focuses at the Indiana State Bar Association's fourth Legal Education Conclave, Indiana Lawyer reported in its story, "Experts: Room for Improvement."

Brita Horvath, diversity and pro bono coordinator at Baker & Daniels, told Indiana Lawyer about a breakout session that was particularly interesting to her because the discussion "confirms what we already know - that our traditional methods of recruiting are not necessarily effective" when it comes to improving diversity in all areas of the legal community.

To have more attention paid to the issue of diversity, Horvath said, "We need to develop leadership and diversity in law schools, on the bench, in the bar - in order to reach diverse constituents."

One of the breakout sessions attended by Anne K. Ricchiuto, an associate at Baker & Daniels and member of the conclave's planning committee, discussed "resiliency in the face of stress," the story reported.

Ricchiuto told Indiana Lawyer that the resiliency session was particularly effective because the panelists spoke about how lawyers can start to have mental health and substance abuse issues as early as their first year of law school, which can last throughout their careers.

For instance, the story said, while law students generally are at the same level - if not healthier - as others on mental health and substance abuse issues before they start law school, things can start to go downhill, even after the first year.

Ricchiuto said two of the benefits of that session for attendees were to learn more about how lawyers can have trouble as early as law school, as well as coping strategies as discussed by one of the panelists.

"Even if it was just for an hour and a half, people in the room gave serious thought to which things are in our control and how can we manage those things, and which things are outside of our control and how to minimize the impact of those things," Ricchiuto told Indiana Lawyer.
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