OKC Legal Briefs: May 3, 2001

Article excerpt

Oklahoma City University School of Law will be co-host of Making Diversity Count in Oklahoma's Legal Community, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. May 15.

The program, on ways to increase diversity in the legal profession, will be held in Sarkeys Law Center on the OCU campus and the cost is $25 per person. The Oklahoma Bar Association has approved it for three hours of MCLE credit. Other hosts are the University of Tulsa College of Law, the University of Oklahoma College of Law, the Oklahoma County Bar Association and the Oklahoma Bar Association's diversity committee.

Charles R. Morgan, executive vice president and general counsel of BellSouth Corp. in Atlanta, is the luncheon speaker. Morgan received the American Bar Association's Spirit of Excellence Award, the American Corporate Counsel Association's 2000 Corporate Legal Diversity Award, the second annual Coalition of Bar Associations of Color's National Diversity Leadership Award, and the Minority Corporate Counsel Association's Diversity 2000 Award.

Charisse R. Lillie is the introductory speaker and a morning panel moderator. She is a partner in the litigation department of the Philadelphia firm of Ballard Spahr Andres & Ingersoll, where she serves in the labor and employment group and public finance group. She primarily defends discrimination actions in federal and state court and before administrative agencies. Lillie also chairs the American Bar Association's Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania's Commission on Racial and Gender Bias in the Justice System. The Federal Reserve System's board of governors recently appointed her board chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

Panelists will include William G. von Glahn, senior vice president and general counsel for The Williams Companies in Tulsa; Rick A. Harrington, senior vice president and general counsel for Conoco Inc. in Houston; Deborah Browers Barnes, vice president, secretary and associate general counsel with Oneok Inc. in Tulsa; Lawrence K. Hellman, dean and professor at OCU School of Law; Martin H. Belsky, dean and professor at the UT College of Law; and William M. Tabb, associate dean for students and a professor at the OU College of Law.

William G. Paul, a partner at Crowe & Dunlevy in Oklahoma City, will introduce speakers and panelists. Paul, immediate past- president of the American Bar Association, advocated recognizing diversity issues in the legal profession.

Speakers and panelists will address the disparity between the diversity in the American population and the American legal profession.

For more information about Making Diversity Count in Oklahoma's Legal Profession or to register for the program, contact Gina Rowsam, assistant dean for law career services at OCU, 521-5332 or by e-mail at growsam@okcu.edu.

Speaking to OU law graduates

Gov. Frank Keating and University of Oklahoma alumnus William T. Comfort Jr. will be the speakers for the 2001 OU College of Law Convocation at 3 p.m. May 12 at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.

Comfort will deliver the main convocation address following special remarks by Keating. A reception will follow the convocation ceremony. Comfort has served as chairman of New York's Citicorp Venture Capital since 1979. He earned his bachelor's degree in 1959 and his law degree in 1961, both from OU, and later received a master of law degree from New York University.

Comfort is a generous supporter of the OU College of Law, said Andy Coats, OU College of Law dean. Comfort also serves as a member of the College of Law Board of Visitors.

Comfort also has made a commitment to establish a multimillion- dollar scholarship fund for the OU College of Law. The fund is helping to recruit top law students and bring the college to a place of national prominence, said Coats. …