Nota Bene Episode 103: The Diversity and Inclusion Imperative: Codifying Equality into the Lawyer’s Professional Code with David Douglass


The conversation about diversity and inclusion in the legal profession has become an increasingly significant and dire one. It’s time for the legal profession to take responsibility for implementing initiatives that ensure a diverse and inclusive industry. What can the American Bar Association as well as individual lawyers do to recognize the profession’s duty to promote equality? My guest in this episode offers a significant solution in the form of a new ethical rule. 

Joining Michael for this conversation is David Douglass. David is Managing Partner of Sheppard Mullin’s 100-lawyer Washington, D.C. office and a partner in its Government Contracts, Investigations and International Trade Practice Group. He defends companies in criminal and civil investigations and litigation. For more than three decades, David has drawn on his criminal and civil trial experience to advise and represent healthcare and life sciences companies, government contractors and other highly regulated business in government investigations, litigation and, of course, trial. David is often lead trial counsel in federal courts, including Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia and New York. He defends companies and individuals in criminal and civil, False Claims Act (whistleblower), investigations and litigation.

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What We Discussed in This Episode:

  • Why does the American Bar Association need to push for diversity?
  • What are the moral, ethical, and business arguments in favor of greater diversity in the legal profession?
  • Is there a business case for increased diversity in the profession?
  • How can non-diverse lawyers participate in the diversity and inclusion efforts?
  • What higher value system do lawyers owe fidelity to and how does that show up in our ethical responsibilities?
  • How can the American Bar Association help recognize the legal profession’s duty to promote equality?
  • Can equality changes in the legal profession influence other industries?
  • Do lawyers have a social responsibility and obligation to expand the compact of equality?

Resources Mentioned:

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