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ABA President-elect Wells in Nashville
for 'listening tour,' diversity program
American Bar Association President-elect Tommy Wells led a session on increasing diversity in the legal profession and spoke on “common core values” of the profession today during a program at Lipscomb University sponsored jointly by the Tennessee Bar Association and the school’s Institute for Law, Justice and Society. The two-day visit to Nashville included dialogue sessions with leaders of the Tennessee bar and judiciary and was part of Wells’ “listening tour to hear ideas on where to focus efforts.” During his luncheon address, Wells identified the core values as enhancing access to justice, defending an independent judiciary, encouraging diversity and promoting the Rule of Law. “The call to the bar unites all of us on these common goals and they allow us to make a difference.” We can all find common ground in defending the Rule of Law, Wells said, when we “stand together not to make a dollar but a difference.” 

Taking part in the "Plumbing the Leaks: Increasing the Flow in the Legal Profession's Diversity Pipeline" were (above, from left) Allan Ramsaur, TBA Executive Director; Charla Long, director of Lipscomb's Institute for Law, Justice and Society; Lipscomb President Randy Lowry; ABA President-elect Tommy Wells; TBA President Marcy Eason; and TBA Immediate Past President Larry Wilks.
Also taking part in the session was Jim Barry, chief counsel, legacy liability, International Paper. Katrice Morgan, dean of student affairs at the University of Tennessee College of Law addressed pipeline issues in law schools.
Ralph Thompson (left), assistant superintendent for student services with the Metro Nashville School District and Charles Bone, founding member and chairman of Bone, McAllester & Norton discussed diversity issues on the panel. Also involved in the dialogues were David Williams, general counsel at Vanderbilt University; and Larry Bridgesmith, executive director of Lipscomb's Institute for Conflict Management.

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