The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism recently announced that Kendra L. Abercrombie has joined the organization as Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Manager.
In this role, Abercrombie will lead the Commission’s educational and advocacy initiatives aimed at promoting DEI in the legal and justice systems.
“On behalf of the Commission, I am delighted to welcome Kendra as our DEI Manager,” said Martin Sinclair, Chair of the Commission on Professionalism. “Under Kendra’s leadership, the Commission will be positioned to expand our educational programming and partnerships focused on advancing the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the profession.”
As DEI Manager, Abercrombie will be responsible for developing and delivering legal education on DEI and other professionalism topics, as well as managing the Commission’s involvement in the Jumpstart program for historically underrepresented law students and expanding DEI initiatives in the Commission’s mentoring program.
In addition, Abercrombie will develop new strategic partnerships addressing DEI challenges in the legal profession and administer metrics to track the effectiveness of the Commission’s strategic goals and programming related to DEI.
“Kendra has an impressive record of developing impactful DEI programming, including using data to manage initiatives aimed at recruiting and retaining people from diverse backgrounds,” said Jayne Reardon, Executive Director of the Commission on Professionalism. “This experience will be vital as we work toward eliminating bias and divisiveness in the legal and judicial systems to ensure the equitable, effective, and efficient resolution of problems for the people of Illinois.”
Abercrombie joins the Commission from Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law, where she held the roles of Associate Director of Admissions and Diversity Recruitment and Assistant Director of Admissions and Diversity Initiatives. Prior to Maurer School of Law, Abercrombie was an Admissions Counselor and Recruiter at Arizona Summit Law School.
Abercrombie has served as an instructor of legal research and writing at the Indiana Conference for Legal Education Opportunity and an adjunct professor in economics at Ivy Tech Community College in Bloomington, Ind.
She was a member of the Law School Admissions Council’s Irregularities and Misconduct Committee, has served on diversity councils at Indiana University and the Maurer School of Law, and was an advisor to Maurer’s Black Law Student Association.
Abercrombie holds a JD from Arizona Summit Law School, an MBA from the Kogod School of Business at American University, and a BA from the University of Georgia.
In April 2021, she received the Dean Frank Motley Outstanding Faculty and Staff Award from Maurer’s Black Law Student Association. The award is granted to faculty and staff who have provided years of unwavering dedication and service to the Maurer community.
“Though efforts have been made to improve diversity in the legal profession, it remains one of the least diverse occupations,” said Abercrombie. “This lack of diversity can impact public trust in the justice system and the innovation and creativity that come from diverse points of view. Moreover, we’re increasingly seeing that a lack of organizational diversity can impact client acquisition and the bottom line. I look forward to working with the Commission to deliver high-quality educational programming that advances diversity, equity, and inclusion in legal organizations across the state.”
About the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism
The Illinois Supreme Court established the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism under Supreme Court Rule 799(c) to foster increased civility, professionalism, and inclusiveness among lawyers and judges in Illinois. By advancing the highest standards of conduct among lawyers and judges, the Commission on Professionalism works to better serve clients and society alike. For more information, please visit 2Civility.org and follow us on Twitter @2CivilityOrg.