18th Annual Northwest Dispute Resolution Conference
Growing Your Practice with a Focus on Diverse Clients
Session 5.6 Saturday, April 30, 2011 10:15 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
In this presentation practitioners will be invited to explore their own unconscious biases, learn about the changing demographics of our communities and embrace the unique challenges that exist when working with a broad and culturally diverse client base. This program is designed to encourage and equip practitioners to further expand their professional services to diverse clients.
Q&A with Maria
NWDR: What's your theme - your central point?
MV: Good practitioners recognize that the demographics of our state reflect an increasingly diverse population. This presentation is designed to encourage practitioners to embrace this wonderful prevailing change, and adapt their practice to best serve their diverse clients.
NWDR: How do you describe your program?
MV: The goal of the program is to encourage practitioners to further expand their professional services to diverse clients. Practitioners will be invited to explore their own unconscious biases, learn about the changing demographics of our communities, and embrace the unique challenges that exist when working with a broad and culturally diverse client base.
NWDR: What's different about it? Something in the material or how you cover it?
MV: The program is being presented by a Cuban immigration attorney and by a Mexican family law attorney and certified mediator who have experienced first hand the difficulties that a foreign national encounters when dealing with the justice system. The presenters have, combined, more that 40 years of experience working with diverse clients, especially with latinos. The presenters frequently work together to address the overlap of family and immigration issues that can potentially affect the resolution of their client's cases.
NWDR: For whom is your program especially relevant? Who would you like to see come?
MV: Every practitioner who is currently servicing culturally diverse clients or who wishes to expand his/her practice to embrace that population.
NWDR: What got you interested in the topic?
MV: We frequently find ourselves at the aftermath of cases, having to untangle the work of well-meaning professionals who have represented clients without any cultural or legal understanding of their unique circumstances. My co-presenter and I feel strongly that if a professional is making the commitment to assist an individual from a culture other than his/her own, they should prepare themselves accordingly, and gain an understanding of their client's history, culture and unique circumstances, but also about their own biases, which sometimes is at the very core of miscommunication and misunderstanding.
See the full list of all 2011 Workshops here.