This blog post diverges from our standard tone, and that’s because it would be a mistake to talk about our diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) goals in the same way we share updates about our platform or trends in arbitration.

Hi there, Rachel from New Era ADR here. I recently joined the New Era team this Fall. Around the same time I also signed up for a local parenting class.

I wanted to learn different parenting techniques, specifically how to manage discipline and incentives in the elementary school years. I quickly realized that this was no ordinary parenting class. We start with a meditation and our teacher is diverse (a rarity in Montana), but what surprised me most was that despite the syllabus full of case studies and data points, the semester is really about understanding the perspectives of the other parents in class.

In so many areas of our life we focus on the task at hand, while our approach and actions should be shaped by a much larger understanding and appreciation for the context in which we are parenting, working, and fostering relationships. In class we talk about religion, race, backgrounds and fears. Becoming better parents, colleagues and neighbors may require us to change, and that change is made possible by being vulnerable.

At New Era, we strongly believe in honoring our team’s diversity and bringing our authentic selves to work. While we could play it safe with a generic DEI message or a vague call to action, that would not inspire change or accurately reflect the kind of culture we are fostering at New Era.

Of course it’s understandable (even tempting at times) to shy away from topics such as economic disparity, access to education, glass ceilings, and privilege. These can trigger biases, defenses, and emotional reactions but championing diversity, equity and inclusion is inseparable from talking about our own identities and experiences. At New Era, I am encouraged to share my perspective as a non-lawyer, as a woman in a historically patriarchal industry, as a mother, and as a partner and parent in a mixed-race family.

My perspective is valued, but it is still only one. Our team thrives on its differences and diverse perspectives. Same goes for communities, and same goes for the legal industry at large. At New Era we’ve identified three areas where we believe we can make a positive impact. We welcome you to join us by bringing your own experiences and unique perspective.

  1. Increasing transparency in and access to dispute resolution. Our platform serves as a level playing field for those who do not have the time or resources to hire a lawyer or spend years in court, for companies that are being preyed upon out of opportunistic greed, and for the uninitiated looking for an intuitive platform. Tour our platform
  2. Building a diverse bench of neutrals whose demographics more accurately reflect that of the nation’s population. Our success will be evidenced by the willingness of people from different backgrounds to join our bench, and by the number of companies that choose to adopt our platform and engage with a diversified bench. Apply to become a neutral or learn how to incorporate New Era into your contracts.
  3. Promoting an inclusive culture within the tech and legal communities. We strive to hire and elevate voices that may have been silenced or minimized in the past. While we are only 8 people strong at present, our team is 50% female, and includes members from the LGBTQIA+, neurodiverse, and minority communities. We talk openly and respectfully, and we listen and lead with empathy. Join our Team

While it would be easy to operate in the background or safer to cheer from the sidelines while others exhaust themselves, this is not why New Era ADR was created. We have an opportunity to affect change and support the evolution of a more inclusive legal industry. We hope you’ll join us (because it’s going to take all of us).

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