Irvine, Calif. – JAMS, the largest private provider of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services worldwide, is pleased to announce its pledge to the Ray Corollary Initiative (RCI). The mission of the RCI is to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in the selection of arbitrators, mediators and other ADR neutrals. The March 29 signing of the pledge reinforces JAMS’ commitment to diversity in ADR and to creating a more equitable, fair and inclusive standard within the industry.
The RCI is a detailed plan for action to increase diversity within the neutral selection process. The initiative encourages ADR providers to include at least 30% diverse neutral candidates* and drive accountability by tracking selections from those slates or rosters. The RCI is named after Charlotte E. Ray, who graduated from Howard University School of Law in 1872 and was the first Black woman to be admitted to the bar in the United States.
JAMS’ commitment to providing unparalleled client service goes hand in hand with promoting the diverse voices, capabilities and backgrounds of our panel of neutrals. We are proud to embrace the Ray Corollary Initiative and believe this is an important step in moving the needle on diversity in the ADR field.
- Joanne Saint Louis, JAMS director of diversity outreach
The RCI Pledge reinforces JAMS’ long-standing work to promote diversity in ADR including its strike list enhancement, which includes a goal to place four diverse neutral candidates on arbitration strike lists that consist of seven or more neutrals. JAMS seeks to have over 40% diverse neutrals on each strike list. However, where this may not be possible due to the specific nature of the expertise required, the limited number of panelists that meet these requirements, and location and contract restrictions, we document and track these gaps for recruitment purposes.
Parties can also partner with JAMS in promoting the selection of diverse neutrals by utilizing the following JAMS initiatives:
- JAMS Diversity and Inclusion Arbitration Clause: The clause, established in 2018, promotes inclusivity in terms of gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation within dispute resolution. The clause states that parties agree to seek a fair representation of diverse arbitrators (considering gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation), and request administering institutions to include a fair representation of diverse candidates on their rosters and list of potential arbitrator appointees. JAMS was the first major ADR provider to create such a clause, and it has since been adopted by other organizations within the industry.
- The JAMS Neutral Utilization Report: This tool was created to help clients (in-house and outside counsel) measure their DEI progress by tracking their neutral selection data.
Additionally, JAMS established its Diversity Fellowship program in 2021 to provide training, mentorship, sponsorship, and networking opportunities to up-and-coming diverse ADR professionals. JAMS panelists serve as mentors for the fellows and facilitate shadowing of actual cases. During the program, JAMS’ marketing team creates a practice development plan and provides the fellows with marketing opportunities.
More information on JAMS’ work to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in ADR can be found here.
About JAMS – Local Solutions. Global Reach.
Founded in 1979, JAMS is the largest private provider of alternative dispute resolution services worldwide. JAMS successfully resolves and manages business and legal disputes by providing efficient, cost-effective and impartial ways to overcome barriers at any stage of conflict. JAMS offers customized in-person, virtual and hybrid resolution services locally and globally through a combination of industry-specific experience, first-class client service, the latest technology and highly trained mediators and arbitrators.
With a roster of over 400 neutrals and 30 locations, JAMS resolves thousands of the world’s important cases every year. JAMS neutrals are adept at managing the resolution process whether they are conducting in-person, virtual or hybrid hearings.
More information is available at www.jamsadr.com, and you can connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and our JAMS ADR blog. To learn about diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives at JAMS, visit www.jamsadr.com/diversity/.
*Diverse neutral candidates are defined as Black, Hispanic, Latino/a/x, Indigenous, Asian American Pacific Islander (“AAPI”), other people of color, women, persons of differing sexual orientations and gender identities, and persons living with disabilities.