Response to Affirmative Action ruling: AD Judges Chambers and Wan join Diversity Task Force

July 13, 2023 Rob Abruzzese
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The New York State Bar Association’s (NYSBA) Task Force on Advancing Diversity, in a proactive response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision on affirmative action, has set an ambitious timetable to issue a comprehensive report this August.

The report will suggest measures for colleges, universities, corporations, law firms, courts and government entities to maintain diversity in the absence of affirmative action.

“In corporate boardrooms across the nation and the admissions offices of almost every college in the country, today’s leaders are searching for ways to advance diversity in the absence of affirmative action,” said Richard Lewis, president of the NYSBA.

“With college application season upon us, fellowship deadlines fast approaching, government programs in a state of flux and hiring decisions to be made, we know that there is no time to waste,” Lewis continued. “That is why we have set this ambitious timeline.”

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

Justice Cheryl Chambers.

Chaired by former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, and Paul, Weiss Chairman Brad Karp, the Task Force has been divided into four working groups. Each group will address issues impacting academia, the judiciary, law firms, and corporations.

The 40-member Task Force comprises the chairs of 15 major law firms, the chief legal officers of seven large corporations, five of New York’s distinguished judges, and the deans of Columbia and NYU law schools.

Among the prominent judiciary members are Associate Justice Cheryl Chambers of the Appellate Division, Second Department, and Associate Justice Lillian Wan, also of the Appellate Division, Second Department.

The Task Force aims to create a blueprint for diverse representation in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling that abolished affirmative action at Harvard and the University of North Carolina. The presence of high-profile judges like Cheryl Chambers and Lillian Wan further underscores the Task Force’s commitment to upholding diversity within the judiciary and beyond.


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