'Jazz for Justice' Benefit to Promote Diversity - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

'Jazz for Justice' Benefit to Promote Diversity in Legal Profession

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An Augusta County prosecutor is among the leaders in a statewide campaign to improve diversity among attorneys and judges.

A fundraising concert this weekend  will help their cause. The Virginia Bar Association says that with an increasingly global society, the legal profession need to reflect many races and cultures, languages and backgrounds.

That's why it established the diversity conference in 2010 and sponsoring "Jazz for Justice" Saturday night. Augusta County Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Rupen Shah says Virginia lags behind in ensuring that judges and lawyers equally represent their changing communities.

The state bar's diversity conference aims to promote the legal profession among women and minorities, and people from economically disadvantaged parts of the state.

"The bar continues to educate kids, and I think we can make a big difference in the high schools. We can make them motivated.  Diversity can be from the grassroots," said Shah.

The "Jazz for Justice" event raises money for the diversity conference, which gets no funding from the state bar. The concert begins Saturday night at 7:00, in the Forbes Performing Arts Center at James Madison University.

Proceeds also go to JMU music scholarships, and to the nonprofit Blue Ridge Legal Aid.  Click here for details on the event.

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