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Heather James and Team Win Crowd Favorite at Diversity in Law Hackathon

Heather James and Team Win Crowd Favorite at Diversity in Law Hackathon
November 19, 2018

Heather James, a partner in Ice Miller’s Municipal Finance Group, participated in the Diversity in Law Fall Hackathon hosted by Diversity Lab, UC Hastings and Northwestern Law, Nov. 1-2. Heather competed on Team Spectra, which won “Crowd Favorite.” Each of the winning teams will each receive an investment from Diversity Lab to implement their pitches.

At the event, teams were asked to solve a diversity-related problem prevalent in law. Team Spectra pitched the “Inclusion Rider” RFP Addendum. The pitch attempts to solve the inconsistency of diversity evaluations by in-house legal departments seeking external firm business. “Inclusion Rider” would incorporate a standardized addendum to RFPs for any new matter. This addendum would facilitate the standardization of diversity evaluations by in-house departments, which are currently highly varied despite their increasing demand, by allowing uniform comparisons among firms over time and in customizable geographic areas. 

Diversity Lab partnered with Bloomberg Law to host the Hackathon series in an attempt to “hack the legal industry’s toughest diversity and inclusion challenges.” Over one hundred law firms and legal departments participated in the event, which united law students and seasoned lawyers over several months to perfect their proposed solutions to the legal industry’s diversity and inclusion problems.

An incubator for innovative solutions, Diversity Lab hosts Hackathons in conjunction with top law firms and legal departments to garner experimental ideas. Using data, behavioral science, design thinking and technology, Diversity Lab develops, measures and shares lessons from these ideas to help cultivate diversity and inclusion.

Heather James is a partner in the Municipal Finance Group. Heather focuses her practice on working with municipal units of government as bond counsel for a wide variety of their financings, including for general obligations, utilities, tax increment, economic development, letters of credit and providing assistance to state and local governments with taxable and tax exempt financing for themselves and local industry. Heather assists cities, towns, counties, regional districts, and special taxing districts in planning and implementing financings for a wide range of municipal projects, with a focus on economic development. She also advises clients on matters concerning municipal law, government and government contracts, securities law, finance, leasing and federal tax law compliance. Heather frequently writes and speaks about financing options for municipal units of government. Heather's transactional experience includes new money financings for capital projects and refunding transactions.

Learn more about Ice Miller’s commitment to Diversity & Inclusion here.

This publication is intended for general information purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice. The reader should consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to the reader’s specific circumstances.

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