2023 Race and the Law Symposium

  • February 2, 2023
  • 12:00 PM - 1:50 CST
  • Power Rogers & Smith Ceremonial Courtroom
  • Isiaha Kyles, ikyles@luc.edu
  • Open to the public.
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  • Details

    Keeping Pace: A Discussion on Minority Underrepresentation in the Legal Profession, the Challenges These Attorneys Face and the Work to be Done

    About the Symposium:

    Loyola University Chicago School of Law's Race and the Law Symposium is designed to raise awareness of the legal issues affecting minority communities. This year's symposium seeks to explore minority representation within the legal field, and increasing access to the legal profession. According to the American Bar Association's 2020 Profile of the Legal Profession, the legal profession grew faster than the U.S. population between 2010 and 2020 (10.4%). However, the number of lawyers of color grew by just 2.7 percentage points over that period (from 11.4% to 14.1%). When broken down into individual minority groups, all people of color continue to be underrepresented within the legal profession. The landscape of 2021 not only produced the largest incoming class of law students in over a decade, but it also produced the most diverse class in history. With 34.7% of this class people of color, the number of lawyers of color will surely increase, but will this trend continue into the post-racial reckoning future? Is there anything that lawyers of color can do to make sure that it does? The 2023 Race and the Law Symposium will explore this topic through a discussion of the unique challenges that lawyers and students of color face throughout their legal careers.


    12:00 PM - 12:15 PM                Registration and lunch
    12:15 PM - 12:20 PM                Welcome and opening remarks
    12:20 PM - 1:00 PM                Featured speaker
    1:00 PM - 1:45 PM                Panel w/ Q & A
    1:45 PM - 1:50 PM                Closing remarks

    Featured Speaker

    Bill Lowry

    Bill Lowry is the President and Director and Nyhan, Bambrick, Kinzie & Lowry, PC (NBKL), and the Cook County Commissioner of the 3rd District. He received his JD from Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 1987 before he began his role as President of NBKL. In this position, Mr. Lowry has focused his trial and appellate practice on Workers' Compensation and Employer Liability on behalf of self-insured and insured businesses. He has served as the Cook County Commission of the 3rd District since 2018. Mr. Lowry's commitment to community outreach and diversity in the legal profession is evident in each of the numerous initiatives he has supported and accolades that he has received. For example, he currently serves on the Diversity Council of Loyola University of Chicago School of Law, and is the founder and President of The It's Time Organization (TITO), an anti-violence organization addressing youth violence in the 3rd, 4th and 5th wards of Chicago.

    Panelists (3)

    Sandra S. Yamate

    Sandra S. Yamate is the Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession (IILP). This non-profit organization works toward a more diverse and inclusive legal profession through its research and programming. Before joining IILP, Ms. Yamate spent ten years as the Director of the American Bar Association's Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. She was the first Executive Director of the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms. Prior to that, she was a litigator in Chicago for ten years. She earned her JD from Harvard Law School. Ms. Yamate was a founding member o the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Chicago Area and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

    Candace Moore

    Candace Moore is the City of Chicago's Chief Equity Officer. She graduated from Loyola University of Chicago School of Law in 2013 before her time at Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law where she was a Senior Staff Attorney on the Educational Equity Project until 2019. In that year, Mayor Lori Lightfoot hired Ms. Moore to lead Chicago's Office of Equity and Racial Justice as the city's Chief Equity Officer. In this role, she has spearheaded the City of Chicago's incorporation of equitable policies, and the codification of her role and office, to solidify the city's commitment to pursuing equal opportunities in all of its practices.

    Derrick Thompson Jr.

    Derrick Thompson Jr. is a Partner at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP. He graduated from DePaul University College of Law in 2005 before working at Taylor Miller as a trial attorney. Mr. Thompson then went on to serve as a trial attorney and litigator at Hoogendoorn and Talbot LLP where he became a Partner. In his current role at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, he is a trial lawyer in the firm's litigation and intellectual property groups who focuses his practice on complex commercial disputes. Mr. Thompson also serves as Special Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago in civil cases. He has been recognized by Leading Lawyers as a Top Commercial Litigator since 2020, an accolade that places him in the top 5% of Illinois lawyers, as selected by his peers.