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 African American, only ten percent of panel members are lawyers of color.856 A federal defender told the Committee that in his district, although a mentoring pro- gram had been created for the panel, they “still struggle to fill the void there. We do have a small panel [of] twenty-three [attorneys]. We do have one African American male...[and] several Hispanics [whom] we particularly recruited from other districts to participate on the panel.”857 One defender told the Committee, “I’m frustrated
in trying to attract minority candidates to the panel. We have had a fair amount of success in the district increasing the participation of women on the panel but [racial diversity is] still, again, a work in progress. I’m not satisfied. Still working.”858
In comparison to CJA panels, federal defender and community defender orga- nizations are more diverse. In fact, defender organizations outpace the national federal workforce in the hiring of women and minorities.859 In fiscal year 2015, employees of federal defender offices, including both attorneys and staff, were approximately 62 percent white, 10.5 percent black, and 22 percent Hispanic. These numbers are reflective of the national population and show that these offices as
a whole are fairly diverse.860 Diversity diminishes, however, when looking only at the attorneys in these offices: Although 10 percent of them are African American, lawyers who identify as Hispanic comprise just over 11 percent of all attorneys. Seventy-two percent of assistant federal defenders are white, with white males
comprising the largest demographic category at 40.5 percent.861
While diverse non-lawyer staff is important—investigators and other staff inter-
act with clients as well—diversity is most important within the corps of lawyers them- selves. As discussed above, these attorneys must be vigorous and creative advocates for their clients and to succeed they must develop trusting relationships with them.
Lack of diversity is more pronounced at the top of the defender office hierar- chy, with half of defender office executives being white men,862 while white women lead 30 percent of defender offices. African American men head only 10 percent of FDOs, and African American women just 2.5 percent. Men who identify as Hispanic or Latino run a tiny 1.3 percent of FDOs, and there are no women who identify as Latina leading a federal defender organization.863
856 SeeKathyLuker,CJAPanelAtty.,N.D.Ala.,PublicHearing—Birmingham,Ala.,Panel4,Tr.,at34;CJA Review Committee Panel Attorney Surveys; U.S. Census Bureau, QuickFacts Data for Birmingham City, Alabama, available at 857 EdsonBostic,FPD,D.Del.,PublicHearing—Philadelphia,Pa.,Panel10,Tr.,at32.
858 TerenceWard,FPD,D.Conn.,PublicHearing—Philadelphia,Pa.,Panel10,Tr.,at30.
859 DefenderServicesCommitteeMaterials,June2017,providedatrequestoftheCommitteebytheChair of the Defender Services Committee. The exception to this is in the category of Asian/Pacific Islanders.
860 Admin.OfficeoftheU.S.Courts,TheJudiciaryFairEmploymentPracticesAnnual Report, Fiscal Year 2016; U.S. Census Bureau, QuickFacts Data for United States, available at
861 DefenderServicesCommitteeMaterials,June2017.
862 Id. 863 Id.
No recommendation presented herein represents
the policy of the Judicial Conference of the United 2 0 1 7 R E P O R T O F T H E A D H O C C O M M I T T E E T O R E V I E W T H E C R I M I N A L J U S T I C E A C T 181
 States unless approved by the Conference itself.

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