The Second Annual National HBCU Pre-Law Summit & Law Expo is scheduled to take place on Friday, September 25, 2015 and Saturday, September 26, 2015 at The Center for Civil and Human Rights in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. This groundbreaking event is the only event of its kind in the entire country focused on addressing the unique issues, concerns and challenges facing HBCU students and graduates interested in going to law school and becoming lawyers. Students and graduates from all HBCUs across the country are invited to meet and come together in Atlanta this fall to take part in two intensive and power-packed days (with two more optional days) designed to expose them to game-changing information, resources, and connections designed to help them achieve success in a demanding educational endeavor and field in need of greater diversity.
The summit will provide inspirational keynote sessions featuring prominent and dynamic attorney speakers. Confirmed keynote speakers include Joseph K. West, Esq., President and CEO of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association and Paulette Brown, Esq., Partner and Chief Diversity Officer at Locke Lord LLP and President of the American Bar Association. Attorney Brown has recently made history by becoming the very first African American woman to be elected to that prestigious post. Both keynotes are proud graduates of historically Black universities.
In addition to outstanding keynote speakers, there will also be panel discussions including an unprecedented HBCU Deans Panel featuring the deans of HBCU law schools including Katherine S. Broderick, Esq., Dean at The University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law (Washington, DC), Phyliss Craig-Taylor, Esq., Dean at North Carolina Central University School of Law (Durham, North Carolina), Dannye Holley, Esq., Dean at Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Texas Southern University (Houston, Texas), and Danielle Holley Walker, Esq., Dean at Howard University School of Law (Washington, DC).
The event will also include special guests including John Crump, JD, Historian and Executive Director Emeritus of the National Bar Association, the largest and oldest association made up primarily of African American lawyers, Ricky Anderson, Esq., top entertainment attorney to numerous A-list celebrities including Steve Harvey, Rickey Smiley and Mary Mary, and L. Chris Stewart, Esq., trial lawyer and attorney to the family of Walter Scott, a Black man who was shot and killed by a White police officer as he fled in North Charleston, South Carolina. There will also be a few surprise guests who will provide short remarks and words of encouragement to attendees.
Further, the event will showcase panel discussions on critical topics for aspiring lawyers including law school admission, the law student experience, and what it takes to have a successful legal career. These panels will include knowledgeable law school administrators, law students and lawyers who will share their own experiences and directly address issues of concern to HBCU students and alumni which are commonly ignored in general law school informational events. What is particularly special about these sessions is that all of the panelists have an understanding of and genuine interest in the success of students who attend or have attended HBCUs, most having attended HBCUs themselves. Also planned is a special session dealing with how financial aid packages are determined, negotiating scholarship offers and managing student loan debt, which are all very timely, important and major concerns of those interested in pursuing law school today.
In addition, a law school expo will take place on both major days of the summit where students will have the opportunity to meet with law school representatives from schools across the country to find out about their law programs and get answers to their questions.
Special networking receptions are scheduled to take place where attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy food and drinks as they participate in both structured and informal networking activities designed to help them connect with other aspiring law students, current law students, and lawyers.
There will also be two bonus days open to conference registrants. The Thursday prior to the summit will provide early attendees with the opportunity to tour all three Atlanta law schools including Emory University School of Law, Georgia State University School of Law and Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. Students will also have the opportunity to sit in on classes and to participate in a special mock law class designed just for them that they must prepare for and be prepared to participle in. The Sunday after the summit is an optional day of leisure and learning where participants will have the opportunity to register for and take part in a historic Black Atlanta history group bus tour to visit many sites of historical significance to African Americans and the American Civil Rights Movement.
Admission to the Summit and Law Expo is completely free of charge, open to the public, and seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Payments are required to purchase tickets for viewing the exhibits at The Center for Civil and Human Rights ($10) and for participating in the ATL Black History Tour ($35) – and both are optional. All aspiring lawyers, their pre-law and career advisors, professors, parents, supporters and others interested in attending are all welcome and requested to register online prior to the event. To register and for more information, please go to the summit’s official website at http://www.hbcuprelawsummit.org/.
Evangeline M. Mitchell, Esq.
Source: National Pre-Law Diversity Initiatives, Inc.