Delaware Courts hire Diversity, Equity and Inclusion officer
The Delaware Judicial Branch hires its first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer.
Originally from Philadelphia, Kaelea Shaner moved to Delaware in 2019 and is coming to the Delaware Courts from Strategic Education Inc. where she was DEI program manager.
“I’ve gotten so much information that is kind of swimming around in my head right now which is exactly how you want your first day to go in a job like this," Shaner says. "I’m really most excited to be involved in the community I live in.”
Hiring a DEI officer was a key recommendation from the Delaware Supreme Court’s 2022 Strategic Plan for improving diversity in the Delaware Bench and Bar that was released in February.
Shaner says improving diversity includes increasing accessibility and tapping into the K-12 pipeline.
“What really kind of jumped at me was building this idea of a legal mentorship program or apprenticeship program," Shaner says. "Which is something I’ve done in my prior role, was kind of build out a mentorship program for faculty, staff, and others at SEI.”
Her first day was Monday, so Shaner says she’s looking at what’s already being done and centralizing all of those efforts.
“So that will be my first step," she says. "Is seeing what's out there already and pulling it all together so we can make something new.”
Other recommendations in the report include adopting a “Delaware Scholars Program,” as an alternative to the bar exam, considering loan repayment programs, and establishing cross-firm mentor programs.