Greensboro, NC — The Fourth Annual National HBCU Pre-Law Summit & Law Expo 2017, sponsored by AccessLex Institute, is scheduled to take place on Friday, September 15, 2017 at Bennett College and Saturday, September 16, 2017 at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, North Carolina. This groundbreaking summit is the exclusive national event of its kind in the entire country focused on empowering HBCU students and graduates interested in going to law school and becoming lawyers, and addressing the unique issues, concerns and challenges facing them. Students and graduates from all HBCUs are invited to meet and come together in Greensboro this fall to take part in two intensive and power-packed days which will expose them to game-changing information, resources, and connections designed to help them achieve success in a demanding educational endeavor and tough field in great need of diversity.
The summit will provide inspirational keynote sessions featuring prominent and dynamic speakers. Confirmed keynote speakers include Emily M. Dickens, Esq., Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Relationship Officer, Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Dr. Aaron N. Taylor, Esq., Senior Vice President and Executive Director, AccessLex Center for Legal Education Excellence, AccessLex Institute, Demetra L. Liggins, Esq., Partner, Thompson & Knight LLP and Co-Founder, Corporate Homie, Jalene Mack, Esq., Entertainment Attorney, Actress/Writer/Producer, Non-Profit Founder & Artistic Producer, Mack Performing Arts Collective, Inc., The Honorable Dr. Christina R. Kirk, Esq., Municipal Court Judge, 7th Grade English Teacher, Ryan Middle School, Founder & Dean, Prep “U”niversity and Managing Attorney, Kirk Law Group, and Juan R. Thomas, Esq., President, National Bar Association, Founder and Principal, The Thomas Law Group and Of Counsel, Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, PA.
In addition to outstanding keynote speakers, special guest speakers, and Black lawyer and law student organizational leaders, there will also be an unprecedented conversation featuring all six HBCU law school deans including John K. Pierre, Esq., M.S.A., Chancellor and Vanue B. Lacour Endowed Professor of Law, Southern University Law Center, Phyliss Craig-Taylor, Esq., LL.M., Dean and Professor of Law, North Carolina Central University School of Law, James Douglas, Esq., J.S.M., Interim Dean and Distinguished Professor of Law, Thurgood Marshall School of Law Texas Southern University, Reginald McGahee, Esq., Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs, Howard University School of Law, Shelley Broderick, Esq., M.A.T., Dean and Joseph L. Rauh, Jr. Chair of Social Justice, University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law, and Reginald M. Green, J.D., Associate Dean for Student Services and Administration, Florida A&M University School of Law. The panel of law school deans will be moderated by Dr. Jamal Watson, Executive Editor, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.
The event will also include the National HBCU Pre-Law Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Honorees who will address attendees include The Honorable Craig Washington, award-winning criminal law attorney, former Texas State Representative, Texas State Senator and U.S. Congressman, The Honorable Henry Frye, the first African American elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives, the first Black North Carolina Supreme Court Justice and the first Black Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, Juanita Jackson, Esq., Managing Attorney, Jackson Law, PLLC, former Harris County Public Defender and creator, producer and cast member of the groundbreaking WETV Reality Show “Sisters in Law”, and The Honorable Dr. Alma S. Adams, Congresswoman, 12th Congressional District of North Carolina, United States House of Representatives, former HBCU professor and founder of the first-ever Bipartisan Congressional HBCU Caucus.
In addition, the event will showcase informative panel discussions on critical topics for aspiring lawyers including law school admission, the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), law student experience, the different career paths for those armed with a law degree, and the law degree and Black entrepreneurship. Also planned are special sessions on financing legal education and the law school personal statement and diversity statement.
Further, a law school expo will take place where students will have the opportunity to meet with law school representatives from up to 100 law schools across the country to find out about their programs and get answers to their questions in order to find the law school that is the right fit for them. Law-related, law student and bar associations will also be available to provide information regarding their programs and services for future law students.
Networking breaks and receptions are scheduled to take place where attendees will have the opportunity to participate in both structured and informal networking activities to help them connect with other aspiring law students, current law students, and lawyers in order to create accountability partnerships, obtain mentors, and make new friends. A one-on-one consulting and practical assistance session will also be offered so that participants can receive assistance and feedback on their personal statements, diversity statements, resumes, addenda and ask any admissions, preparation or career planning questions. Complimentary resources such as LSAT preparation materials and booklets will be provided, as well as complimentary professional headshots.
The event will end on a high note with the Aspiring Lawyers Pinning Ceremony where all aspiring lawyers will recite the success pledge, be pinned by a current licensed attorney, and are then charged with their responsibility to stay the course and give back to the community.
According to the summit’s founder, Evangeline M. Mitchell, Esq., Ed.M., an HBCU graduate and first-generation college graduate and lawyer, “This is an opportunity of a lifetime where we are bringing together all of these incredible, accomplished people from across the country for the sole purpose of inspiring and empowering HBCU students and alumni who are interested in law school so that they better understand that they are needed and what is required to be successful. We want to demystify what it really takes to gain access to law school and the legal profession. Our goal is to break down those walls of exclusivity and exclusion to help them see their goals as attainable, but also be honest and transparent so that they understand the very real obstacles they will face so they can prepare themselves to overcome them. Both I and many of my colleagues never had opportunities like this prior to choosing to go to law school. I encourage those with an interest in law to make an effort to take advantage of all that is being offered. This is a labor of love and is truly game-changing and life-changing not only in terms of participants leaving with inspiration but also insider information, resources, connections and a support network that they didn’t have prior to attending.”