New York State Bar Association Task Force Sets Ambitious Timetable in Wake of U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on Affirmative Action

By Susan DeSantis

July 12, 2023

New York State Bar Association Task Force Sets Ambitious Timetable in Wake of U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on Affirmative Action


By Susan DeSantis

The New York State Bar Association’s Task Force on Advancing Diversity will issue a report in August that will recommend how colleges and universities, corporations and law firms and courts and government entities can preserve diversity in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down affirmative action at Harvard and the University of North Carolina.

“In corporate board rooms 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 New York State Bar Association. “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. That is why we have set this ambitious timeline.”

The New York State Bar Association Task Force on Advancing Diversity – chaired by former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Paul, Weiss Chairman Brad Karp – has been divided into four working groups to address the issues impacting academia, the judiciary, law firms and corporations.

The 41-member task force includes the chairs of 15 major law firms, the chief legal officers of eight large corporations, five of New York’s distinguished judges and the deans of Columbia and NYU law schools.

In addition to Karp, the law firm chairs are:

Neil Barr, chair, Davis Polk.

Barbara Becker, chair, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.

Bradley Butwin, chair, O’Melveny & Myers.

Eric Friedman, executive partner, Skadden.

Peter Furci, presiding partner, Debevoise.

Michael Gerstenzang, managing partner, Cleary Gottlieb.

David Greenwald, chair, Fried Frank.

Adam Klein, managing partner, Outten & Golden.

Kim Koopersmith, partner & chair, Akin.

Anthony Lupo, chair, ArentFox Schiff.

Julie Jones, chair, Ropes & Gray.

Alden Millard, chair, Simpson Thacher.

Faiza Saeed, presiding partner, Cravath.

Barry Wolf, chair, Weil, Gotshal & Manges.


The general counsel/chief legal officers of eight large corporations have joined the task force:

Deneen Donnley, senior vice president and the general counsel, Con Ed.

Stacey Friedman, general counsel, JP Morgan Chase.

Jose Gonzalez, chief legal officer, Equitable.

Eric Grossman, chief legal officer and chief administrative officer, Morgan Stanley.

Kimberley Harris, general counsel, NBC Universal.

Sandra Leung, executive vice president and general counsel of Bristol-Myers Squibb and the president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

Deirdre Stanley, executive vice president/general counsel, Estee Lauder.

Julie Swidler, general counsel, SONY Music, and chair, Union College Board of Trustees.


The task force also includes prominent judges, academics and attorneys:

T. Andrew Brown, former vice chancellor of the New York Board of Regents, managing partner at Brown Hutchinson and past NYSBA president.

Associate Justice Cheryl Chambers, Appellate Division, Second Department.

Nishka Chandrasoma, vice president, chief legal officer and secretary, Ford Foundation.

Vincent Chang, partner, Wollmuth Maher & Deutsch.

Anne Clark, managing partner, Vladeck, Raskin & Clark.

Mike Delikat, former chair of Orrick’s Global Employment Law Practice and a partner in the New York office.

Lissette Duran, senior counsel, Paul, Weiss.

Gillian Lester, dean of Columbia Law School.

Kapil Longani, senior vice chancellor for legal affairs and general counsel, State University of New York.

Troy McKenzie, dean, New York University School of Law.

Alicia Ouellette, former dean, Albany Law School.

Judge Edwina Richardson-Mendelson, chief administrative judge for justice initiatives, New York State Unified Court System.

Supervising Judge of the Family Court Richard Rivera, acting Supreme Court justice, Albany County, and co-chair of the Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission.

Jill Rosenberg, a New York employment law partner, Orrick.

Kathleen Sweet, Gibson, McAskill & Crosby.

Liza Velazquez, partner, Paul, Weiss.

Associate Justice Lillian Wan, Appellate Division, Second Department.

Associate Justice Troy Webber, Appellate Division, First Department.

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