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mentorship , support and introductions aided in Richardo ’ s professional growth and maturation .
Judge Hopkins ’ s journey as an attorney began with a clerkship with Judge Alan E . Norris ( Sixth Circuit ). Judge Norris made the personal decision the year Judge Hopkins graduated from law school in 1985 that he was going to hire an African American new lawyer . There were no lawyers in Judge Hopkins ’ s family and less than a handful of college graduates . Judge Hopkins overcame his doubts about his ability to think and write like a lawyer — under the watchful eye of Judge Norris . 3
Because Judge Hopkins demonstrated an ability to work hard , research the law thoroughly , and most importantly , mimic Judge Norris ’ s wonderful prose , Judge Norris invited Judge Hopkins to come along to a prized clerkship when Judge Norris was appointed to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals . Judge Hopkins notes that working for Judge Norris was more than just a clerkship ; it was a stewardship in mentoring .
So , ask yourself . Who can YOU take under your wing ?
These are times when complacency has no place . To paraphrase the immortal words of Rev . Dr . Martin Luther King , Jr ., “ injustice prevails when good women and good men do nothing .” Being a Fellow means not just knowing the law or being proficient at drafting a plan of reorganization or closing on a deal . It does mean that we ought to be experts and exhibit the highest professionalism and ethics standards while plying our craft . And it also means that we must serve as thought leaders in order to improve the diversity , inclusion and equity of the professionals who occupy the seats around the board rooms , conference tables and courtrooms where important bankruptcy , debt restructuring and insolvency decisions are being made that affect the whole community — especially communities who have not had a voice .
It is our hope , and the hope of all the commissioners and the reporter serving with us that each and every Fellow will heed the call and join us in this noble endeavor . Because we are experts at reorganizing an enterprise and because we subscribe to the highest ideals of our respective professions , we can achieve greater diversity , equity and inclusion in the bankruptcy and restructuring profession so that it mirrors the people being served and provides much needed diverse voices in important decision making . Among other initiatives that the commission is working on , this effort will take mentorship , sponsorship and , most importantly , the commitment of our hearts and minds , individually and collectively , as Fellows in this august institution to the cause .
The names of all Commission members , including our Reporter , and the subcommittees on which they serve , are listed on the College website at www . amercol . org .
Watch for the DEI Webpage for a more complete description of Judge Hopkin ’ s personal journey to the bench .