CMCP Annual Business Conference Planning Committee

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The CMCP Conference Committee assists in the planning and organizing of the Annual Business Conference by helping to select relevant and useful topics and design panels to present at the Annual Conference.

The Annual Business Conference is the signature CMCP event each year, bringing together hundreds of attorneys for networking and professional development and high quality legal education.

Following are FAQs designed to answer basic questions and provide a summary of some of the key responsibilities of Conference Committee members.  Please note that these FAQs and responsibilities may change over time.


Who can be on the Conference Committee?

CMCP attempts to have a Conference Committee that reflects the diversity of its members, including organization type and geographical area.

Unless otherwise agreed by the Executive Director, Committee members must be attorneys of color employed at a CMCP member organization. Ideally members have between 5 – 15 years of practice experience.

Members may be selected by the Executive Director or vetted through an application process after candidates submit a sign-up form.

As a general guideline, members must be employed as licensed attorneys at CMCP member organizations, must be committed to attending the full conference, and be able to make a commitment to the work required to actively contribute as a committee member. Attendance at a prior Annual Business Conference and/or other CMCP events is strongly preferred.

What is the role of the Conference Committee?

The primary role of the Conference Committee is to help select relevant and useful topics and design panels to present at the Annual Conference.  In some cases Conference Committee members may serve as moderators or panelists or session coordinators but this is not guaranteed and should not be a primary reason for volunteering to be on the committee.

The Conference Committee may also be called on by the Executive Director to weigh in on and contribute ideas for the conference overall.  At the conference, committee members are expected to help CMCP and event staff ensure the session runs smoothly.

How does the Conference Committee operate?

There will be one to two initial teleconferences of the entire Committee to discuss the role and expectations for the Committee and answer questions.  The Committee will share ideas on potential topics for panels for the upcoming Conference (panel topics and ideas from previous years will be shared), and help decide on topics.  Committee members will form working groups which will meet to develop panels, including choosing and developing topics, recruiting speakers and developing written materials.

What are the benefits of participating on the Committee?

Opportunity to make a specific and concrete contribution to advancing CMCP’s mission of advancing opportunities for the professional development of attorneys of color.

Conference Committee members receive complimentary registration for the full conference (not including hotel and travel).

Expand your professional network by working with a range of highly talented committee members.

Recognition on the conference website and at the conference Recognition Luncheon as thanks for your contribution and to enhance your own networking at and after the conference.

The enjoyment of getting to know and working with thoughtful and engaging people involved as committee members, panelists and others helping to make a great session and great conference.

Development of skills and experience in designing and implementing effective programs, working with and sometimes leading and directing the work of other lawyers and professionals, and working collaboratively with a range of diverse lawyers.

Opportunity to develop deep knowledge in an area of law, business or issues of diversity in the legal profession.

Increasing your profile in the CMCP community with an according increase in opportunities for selection and involvement in other CMCP programs and committees.

Potential speaking opportunities on a panel – again, these are not guaranteed. Panel selection is made by the Executive Director with input from the panel working group and based on the best interests of the conference attendees. If your primary interest is being a speaker, send CMCP information on the areas of expertise about which you are qualified to speak. Include information about past speaking engagements on the topic. CMCP is in the process of creating a list of potential speakers for future programs and a process for submitting proposals for new programs.

What is the time commitment for working on the Conference Committee?

At minimum you will be expected to make bi-weekly calls with the entire conference committee plus telephonic meetings with your panel working group. The number of meetings will vary with the complexity and particular demands of the program you design. Expect that meetings will increase in frequency as you approach the conference. A rough timeline will be shared when the conference committee is formed, and it is critically important that committee members communicate openly and are prepared to step down if due to work or personal obligations they are not able to meet their responsibilities to CMCP.

Depending on your role within your working group you may be involved in doing research, drafting materials, creating exercises or hypotheticals and/or recruiting speakers.

Please feel free to contact Robert White, Executive Director, at, or (510) 929-0473.

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