Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Sign In   |   Become a CBA Member
Community Search
Sign In

Latest News




Diversity & Inclusion Pledge & Plan
Share |

The Connecticut Legal Community’s
Diversity & Inclusion Pledge & Plan

In 2016, the Connecticut Bar Association began an initiative to bring together legal leaders in the state to enhance diversity and inclusion in the Connecticut’s legal community. As part of facilitating this effort, the Connecticut Bar Association is soliciting signatories for a collective pledge reflecting the commitment of Connecticut legal organizations to create more diverse and inclusive environments and for a collaborative plan to achieve this goal. The pledge and plan are available at and was presented at the Inaugural Diversity & Inclusion Summit, which was held on October 26, 2016 at Quinnipiac University School of Law.

This year's summit will be held on October 24, 2018 at Quinnipiac University School of Law.

As of July 5, 2018, the following organizations have signed onto the Connecticut Legal Community's Diversity & Inclusion Pledge and Plan:

  • Aetna
  • Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP
  • City of New Haven Office of the Corporation Counsel
  • Cohen and Wolf PC
  • Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities
  • Connecticut Bar Association
  • Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice
  • Connecticut Legal Rights Project Inc.
  • Connecticut Legal Services Inc.
  • Day Pitney LLP
  • Eversource Energy
  • Finn Dixon & Herling LLP
  • Greater Hartford Legal Aid
  • Halloran & Sage LLP
  • Kalon Law Firm LLC
  • Letizia Ambrose & Falls PC
  • Maura A. Smith Law Offices LLC
  • MassMutual
  • McCarter & English LLP
  • McElroy Deutsch Mulvaney & Carpenter LLP
  • Milano & Wanat LLC
  • Murtha Cullina LLP
  • New Haven Legal Assistance Association
  • Pullman & Comley LLC
  • Robinson & Cole LLP
  • Ryan Ryan Deluca LLP
  • Saxe Doernberger & Vita PC
  • Shipman & Goodwin LLP
  • St. Onge Steward Johnson & Reens
  • State Contracting Standards Board
  • Updike Kelly & Spellacy PC
  • Wiggin and Dana LLP
  • Yale-New Haven Health System

If you are interested in your organization becoming a signatory to the pledge and plan, please download a copy and submit a signed copy to


Resources Reserved for Signatories

Signatory Group Chat – This online forum provides for active discussion amongst the signatories about their successes and challenges in implementing the plan. The signatory group chat will offer a variety of perspectives and is an opportunity to learn more about best practices suited for each type of legal organization.


Annual Materials – As detailed in the plan, each year of implementation has certain focus areas that the signatories will focus on.

Helpful Links

Pledge & Plan

Submit the Pledge & Plan

Summit Registration

Connecticut Bar Association (CBA)

CBA Membership Registration

CBA Diversity & Inclusion Committee


The CBA and the Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity (LCD) are engaged in discussions to work together to accomplish the goals set forth in the pledge and plan and to help our community move forward on these important issues.  To learn more about LCD, please visit  It is not the CBA’s desire to supplant efforts being made by LCD or affinity bar associations, but rather to serve as signatory to the pledge and plan, to provide resources to help facilitate the goals of the pledge and plan, and to implement its own Diversity and Inclusion Plan, which is focused on the CBA itself, including its governance, sections and committees, employees, and other relationships.

2018 Summit Committee Members


Christine Jean-Louis, Chair
Diversity & Inclusion Summit Committee
Office of the Attorney General

Jonathan M. Shapiro
President, Connecticut Bar Association
Shapiro Law Offices LLC

Karen DeMeola

Immediate Past President,
Connecticut Bar Association
University of Connecticut School of Law

Jessica Grossarth-Kennedy
Pullman & Comley LLC

Ronald J. Houde
Kalon Law Firm LLC

Allen Gary Palmer
Halloran & Sage LLP

Cherie Phoenix-Sharpe
City of New Haven,
Deputy Corporation Counsel

Alix Simonetti
Commission on Human Rights
and Opportunities

Keith J. Soressi
Executive Director,
Connecticut Bar Association

Cecil J. Thomas, Co-chair
Diversity and Inclusion Committee
Greater Hartford Legal Aid
Donald P. Tuston, Jr.
Law Office of Donald P. Tutson Jr.
Neeta M. Vatti
Quinnipiac University School of Law

Leanna Zwiebel

Communications and Editorial Associate
Connecticut Bar Association

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines
 of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” 
                                                                                  — Martin Luther King, Jr.



© 2018 Connecticut Bar Association. All rights reserved.