It directly addresses the unique challenges and concerns that HBCU students and graduates have, and the special issues they will face in pre-law preparation and success, law school admission, law school selection, the law school experience, and in their post-law school career job searches.
This event will also be of special interest to those with an interest in attending one of the six HBCU law schools including Howard University School of Law, Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Southern University Law Center, the University of the District of Columbia Clarke School of Law, Florida A&M University School of Law and North Carolina Central University School of Law. It will provide them with the opportunity to speak with representatives from those schools and hear directly from them. They will gain a better understanding of the histories and missions of those institutions, and the their significance in legal education, in the legal profession, and particularly in the community in providing much need legal services for the underserved who would not have access to lawyers.
The event offers:
We are reaching out to all of the HBCU presidents, career services directors, pre-law advisors, student activities directors, student government associations and newspapers/radio stations at all 105 historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) with the exception of the two medical schools and the theology school.
Since 2011, Joseph K. West has served as the President & CEO of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA). Upon taking the helm at MCCA, Mr. West immediately implemented a number of programs focused on increasing the MCCA’s ability to expand opportunities for women and minority lawyers. He created the MCCA Academy for Leadership and Inclusion, a training program designed to identify barriers to inclusion in the profession and to eradicate them. He oversaw the re-design of the MCCA website. He created the MCCA Blueprint program and the MCCA Exchange, programs designed to help in-house counsel with career development and law firm members to hone their business development skills. He led an overhaul of MCCA’s scholarship and mentoring programs and CLE offerings. He launched research projects ranging from global diversity, to a study of Generation Y lawyers, to corporate legal department demographic surveys and toolkits. He has forged partnerships with the Just The Beginning Foundation, the National Association of Women Lawyers, the National Bar Association, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the Hispanic National Bar Association and other organizations. He recently announced that MCCA is the point organization for the Engage Excellence program which tracks the amount of spend that major corporations direct to women and minority lawyers. As a result of his efforts, MCCA’s membership has almost tripled since his tenure began.
Mr. West came to MCCA after an exceptional stint as associate general counsel at Walmart Stores, Inc., where he established himself as an innovator in the legal services arena and a leading advocate for diversity and inclusion. At Walmart, he served as head of the outside counsel management group. In that role, he was responsible for managing all aspects of Walmart’s relationships with its external law firms globally. This included oversight of over 600 firms and 25,000 lawyers and paralegals with an annual outside counsel spend of more than $300 million. His duties included managing the entire approved counsel process; overseeing the RFP process; negotiating, setting and approving rate requests and acting as the final arbiter on conflict waiver requests. He was also responsible for compliance oversight of the Walmart Outside Counsel Guidelines.
He also managed Walmart’s game-changing Relationship Partner Initiative where the company took over the process of naming the Walmart relationship partner and in the process, shifted more than $60 million of business to the control of women and minority lawyers. Mr. West went even further and pioneered an origination credit certification which required that all of Walmart’s external firms certify in writing that the relationship partners the company selected were receiving origination credit for all Walmart work. He also implemented a requirement that all of the company’s external firms implement a flexible work policy in order to be eligible for Walmart work. All of these initiatives greatly contributed to the retention and advancement opportunities for women and minority attorneys.
Mr. West was recently awarded the 2014 Beacon of Diversity Award from the Black Entertainment Sports Lawyers Association. The Delaware Barristers Association recognized him with the 2014 Louis L. Redding Lifetime Achievement Award. The Washington Business Journal honored him with the 2014 Minority Business Leader Award. He made Walmart one of the initial signatories to the Inclusion Initiative with the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF) and in 2009, that organization awarded him its prestigious Outstanding Advisory Council Member Award. In 2010, the National Bar Association recognized his contributions to the profession by naming him In-house Counsel of the Year. In 2005, ABC’s “Good Morning America” featured Mr. West in a segment for his heroic actions in helping save lives when he voluntarily rode out Hurricane Katrina at Methodist Hospital in New Orleans, La., in order to help care for stranded patients. He is a member of the American Bar Association (ABA) Task Force on the Financing of Legal Education and served on the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. Mr. West was also a member of the Association of Corporate Counsel’s ACC Value Challenge Steering Committee. He formerly served on the Arts Council of New Orleans and the Walton Arts Center Corporate Leadership Council. Former Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco appointed Mr. West to chair the Louisiana State Museum Board. Former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial appointed him to the Orleans Parish Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.
Prior to his tenure at Walmart, Mr. West was assistant general counsel at Entergy Corporation in New Orleans, where he managed a litigation team and handled numerous high profile trials on behalf of the company including a zero defense verdict in series of toxic tort matters which resulted in a $1.06 billion jury verdict against one co-defendant. He has had first chair responsibility for thousands of litigation matters and has tried more than 200 cases to verdict in his distinguished career as a trial lawyer. A graduate from Tulane Law School, he was named a Faculty Honors Scholar and was also voted “Best Oralist” during first year oral arguments. He also served Tulane Law as an adjunct professor of trial advocacy. Mr. West received a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Southern University and also attended Louisiana State University and Georgetown University Law Center.
Prior to his in-house tenure, he was a partner in a business litigation firm based in New Orleans. He has represented a wide range of Fortune 500 companies and handled matters on behalf of such notables as celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse, acclaimed actor Laurence Fishburne, and boxing promoter Lou Duva.
Paulette Brown, a labor and employment law partner and chief diversity officer with the Morristown, N.J., office of Locke Lord Edwards, is president of the American Bar Association.
Brown has held a variety of leadership positions within the ABA. She has been a member of the ABA House of Delegates since 1997 and is a former member of the ABA Board of Governors and its Executive Committee as well as the Governance Commission. While serving on the Board of Governors, Brown chaired the Program, Planning and Evaluation Committee. Brown has served on the Commission on Women in the Profession and was a co-author of “Visible Invisibility: Women of Color in Law Firms.” Brown also chaired the ABA Council on Racial and Ethnic Justice (now Coalition on Racial and Ethnic Justice) and is a past co-chair of the Commission on Civic Education in our Nation’s Schools. Brown served on the Section of Legal Education’s Council on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar and its Executive Committee. Brown joined the ABA Young Lawyers Division in 1976. She became active in the Section of Litigation in 1995, which has continued to be her section “home” ever since. She is a former member of The Fund for Justice and Education (FJE), FJE President’s Club and a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.
Brown has held many positions throughout her career, including as in-house counsel to a number of Fortune 500 companies and as a municipal court judge. In private practice, she has focused on all facets of labor and employment and commercial litigation.
Brown has been recognized by the National Law Journal as one of “The 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America” and by the New Jersey Law Journal as one of the “prominent women and minority attorneys in the State of New Jersey.” She has received the New Jersey Medal from the New Jersey State Bar Foundation and currently serves on its Board of Trustees.
Brown has repeatedly been named as a New Jersey Super Lawyer and by US News as one of the Best Lawyers in America in the area of commercial litigation. In 2009, Brown was a recipient of the Spirit of Excellence Award from the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. In 2011, she was honored with the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award by the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession.
Brown earned her J.D. at Seton Hall University School of Law and her B.A. at Howard University.
Marilyn Mosby is Baltimore City’s newly elected State’s Attorney. She is the youngest chief prosecutor of any major city in America.After graduating from Boston College Law School, Mosby joined the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office. After five months of service as an Assistant State’s Attorney, she was promoted to Supervisor of the Early Resolution Court where she managed and trained newly sworn prosecutors and support staff on courtroom decorum and docket management. By 2011, Mosby had advanced from District Court to the General Trial Division, where she prosecuted some of the most heinous felonies in the state.
Driven by her love for courtroom litigation and the desire to diversify her legal experience, Marilyn left the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office and began working as Field Counsel for a major Insurance Company. In just three months’ time, Mosby was promoted to the Special Investigation Unit of the company, where she investigated and defended against fraudulent insurance claims throughout the state of Maryland.
Mosby, an inner-city Boston native, is a first-generation college graduate. She graduated, magna cum laude, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Tuskegee University. That same year, she was awarded the Council On Legal Educational Opportunity (CLEO) Thurgood Marshall Scholarship.
Mosby has been an avid public servant her entire life. She clerked at several highly-esteemed governmental agencies, including the United States Attorneys Office in both Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. She also clerked in the Homicide Unit of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in Boston.
Since the 2014 legislative session, Mosby has lobbied local and state lawmakers to introduce language that brings Maryland sexual assault law into line with federal law. The legislation would allow prosecutors in sexual assault cases to introduce the prior sex crimes of the accused into evidence for juries to consider.
As an active member in her profession and community, Marilyn has served in a number of leadership positions on several committees and boards including: the Peer Review Committee of the Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission (2012), the Judicial Nomination Committee for the Monumental Bar Association, the NAACP (Baltimore Branch) Criminal Justice Committee.
She was named twice, in 2013 and 2014, as one of the Baltimore Sun’s 50 Women to Watch; Baltimore Magazine’s Top 40 under 40 in 2014; and the Daily Record’s 2013, Leading Women.
Marilyn Mosby lives in West Baltimore and is the proud mother of two daughters. She is married to Nick J. Mosby, 7th District Baltimore City Councilman.
Executive Director Emeritus of the National Bar Association (NBA), John Crump received his BA degree in 1967 and his Juris Doctor in 1970 from Texas Southern University, and embarked on a 30-year career of service to the bar and the legal profession. From the start he distinguished himself as a visionary leader of the NBA, increasing its membership and helping it make an impact by lending monetary support to civil rights attorneys pursuing discrimination cases. Under Crump’s leadership the NBA continued to be a powerhouse for civil rights.
The American Bar Association (ABA) noted Crump’s contribution to the NBA and the legal profession, presenting him a Lifetime Achievement Award at its mid-year meeting February 6, 2010, “in recognition of outstanding service to the bar, the profession, and the ABA’s goal of eliminating bias and enhancing diversity.”
A champion of diversity in the legal profession, Crump always believed that if America is to become a country of inclusion the legal system must lead the way. To this end he set out to find a way to motivate young students to seek careers in the legal profession. In 2001 he established the NBA Crump Law Camp to introduce 14-17 year olds in the 9th through 11th grades to the American judicial system. Housed at Howard University, the two-week residential program provides students a rigorous academic agenda, exposure to the courts, and lectures by top legal professionals in the nation’s capitol. The Crump Law Camp has become the centerpiece of the NBA’s effort to “grow lawyers of color” and a model for other bar associations.
As a testament to Crump’s commitment to diversity the Council on Legal Education Opportunity presented him the Diversity Pioneer Award on its 40th anniversary in 2008. Diversity & the Bar Magazine (January/February 2009) chronicled his NBA career and highlighted his contribution to the NBA’s development and character. Also citing his contribution to the NBA, the Washington Bar Association presented him its 2009 President’s Recognition Award.
Recipient of numerous awards from civic, professional, and educational organizations throughout his career, Crump says that serving as NBA executive director for three decades was more than a job or title, it was a commitment.
He is married to the former Edythe Traylor; they have one son, Jason.
Judge Arthur L. Burnett, Sr. (Retired) is the National Executive Director, National African American Drug Policy Coalition, Inc. He is a graduate from Howard University summa cum laude with a major in political science and minor in economics. In his junior year he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He then attended New York University School of Law in a six-year college-law combination program, receiving his college degree in October 1957 after finishing Howard’s four (4) years requirement by attending classes in the summers of 1956 and 1957, and receiving his law degree in June 1958 from New York University, graduating in the top 10% of his class and as a Founders’ Day Award Recipient. He was also Associate Research Editor of its Law Review. Thus, he finished seven (7) years of college and law school academic studies in six (6) years.
He commenced his legal career in the Attorney General’s Honors Program at the United States Department of Justice in the Criminal Division in June 1958. He then entered military service in November 1958 for a two-year active duty tour eventually becoming a Second Lieutenant in the Adjutant General Corps and receiving the Army Commendation Medal from the Secretary of U.S. Army for his exceptional performance of duty. Shortly after returning to the Department of Justice, in January 1961 he became liaison from the Criminal Division to the Attorney General of the United States to keep him and the Deputy Attorney General advised of all the major criminal cases and also to monitor the Martin Luther King Civil Rights Movement and to keep them advised of any significant law enforcement and criminal law aspects connected to that movement. In April 1965 he became an Assistant United States Attorney in Washington, D.C. In December 1968 he became the first General Counsel – then called Legal Advisor – of the Metropolitan Police Department in the District of Columbia.
On June 26, 1969 he was appointed the first African American United States Magistrate – a position subsequently renamed by Congress as “United States Magistrate Judge” in the United States, in which capacity he served until December 1975. He then became the Legal Advisor for the United States Civil Service System and between 1977-1980 he served also as a principal legal advisor to the President of the United States on all civil service and personnel law issues in the United States and as one of the President’s chief representatives in dealing with all bills pending before the U.S. Congress dealing with government reorganization and the federal personnel system.
In January 1980 he was again appointed United States Magistrate in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, where he served until appointed by the President of the United States to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia in November 1987. He retired in October 1998 from active Associate Judge status and became a Senior Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and continued to sit almost daily until August 1, 2004. During this period he also served as Judge-in-Residence to the Children’s Defense Fund and as Co-Chair of its Judge’s program in the Children’s Defense Fund , advising it on proposed legislation affecting children and their welfare, running seminars and conferences at the Alex Haley Farm retreat in Tennessee for the Children’s Defense Fund, and appearing at conferences and meetings as a representative of the Children’s Defense Fund as a speaker or on panels.
While retaining the status of a Senior Judge, on August 1, 2004 he took a Sabbatical from the Bench and assumed the position of National Executive Director of The National African American Drug Policy Coalition, Inc. in which position he now serves. He served as an Adjunct Law Professor in Trial Advocacy at Howard University School of Law from 1998 – 2011. He also served as an Adjunct Law Professor at the Columbus School of Law, Catholic University, teaching appellate advocacy from 1997 to 2008. On February 15, 2013 he officially completely retired from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
Throughout his almost 57-year professional career, he has received numerous awards. While working as an Adviser directly to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, in 1963 he received the Sustained Superior Performance Award for his work in keeping the Attorney General advised of developments in major government corruption cases and in monitoring the Martin Luther King Civil Rights Movement. In December 1978 he was Awarded the Distinguished Civil Service Award for his work in advising the old U.S. Civil Service Commission and the President of the United States in securing the passage of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978.
In 1985 he was recognized by the American Bar Association’s National Conference of Special Court Judges as the Most Outstanding Special Court Judge in America for his leadership role as one of the United States Magistrates in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia for his work in upgrading the old U.S. Commissioner system and leadership in converting the United States Magistrate system into the misdemeanor trial court in the federal system, giving real substance to preliminary hearings, reforming the arrest and search warrant operations and his leadership in education of Magistrate Judges and influencing legislative developments, including convincing the U. S. Congress to give U.S. Magistrate Judges with consent of the parties authority to preside over the trials of civil cases in the role of substitute district court judges, and ultimately becoming President of the U.S. Magistrate Judges Association in 1983 – 1984, then called Council of United States Magistrates.
In 1999 he was recognized as being one of the three (3) Most Outstanding General Jurisdiction Judges hearing all types of cases in America by the American Bar Association’s National Conference of State Trial Court Judges for his judicial performance on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
In February 2005 he was Awarded the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession Spirit of Excellence Award for his civil rights history and judicial performance, one of the highest and most prestigious Awards given by the American Bar Association. In 2009 he was acknowledged as a WAYMAKER in the American Bar Association Judges’ Journal for his civil rights history and judicial performance in an extensive interview of his life’s history.
Finally, in 2010 he was recognized by Cambridge’s Who’s Who as one of the most knowledgeable experts in the United States on the drug laws and policies of this Nation and the application of the criminal and juvenile justice system and related healthcare issues involving treatment for substance use disorders and mental health conditions. He retired completely from the judiciary on February 15, 2013 and continues to serve as the National Executive Director of the National African American Drug Policy Coalition, Inc. and as a citizen volunteer advisor to several offices in The White House and to a number of Federal Government Departments and Agencies, and he was recently appointed by the Mayor of the District of Columbia to a part-time position as a Member of the District of Columbia Commission on Fathers, Men and Boys. He also serves on a number of other non-profit entities dealing with youth, substance abuse, mental health conditions, and juvenile and criminal justice issues.
Dr. Ivory A. Toldson is the deputy director, for the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Prior to this role, Dr. Toldson served as an associate professor at Howard University, senior research analyst for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and editor-in-chief of The Journal of Negro Education. He was also contributing education editor for The Root, where he debunked some of the most pervasive myths about African-Americans in his Show Me the Numbers column.
Dr. Toldson has more than 60 publications, including 4 books, and more than 150 research presentations in 36 US states, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Scotland, South Africa, Paris, and Barcelona. He has been featured on MSNBC, C-SPAN2 Books, NPR News, POTUS on XM Satellite Radio, and numerous local radio stations. His research has been featured in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Root, The National Journal, Essence Magazine, and Ebony Magazine.
Dubbed a leader “who could conceivably navigate the path to the White House” by the Washington Post, one of “30 leaders in the fight for Black men,” by Newsweek Magazine, and the “Problem Solver” by Diverse: Issues In Higher Education, Dr. Toldson, according to U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan, is “a prolific young scholar and myth buster.” According to Capstone Magazine, “Toldson has spent a lot of time traveling across the country talking with teachers about misleading media statistics that invariably either link Black males to crime or question their ability to learn.” Dr. Toldson was named in the 2013 The Root 100, an annual ranking of the most influential African-American leaders.
After completing coursework for a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at Temple University, Dr. Toldson became a correctional and forensic psychology resident at the United States Penitentiary. There, he completed his dissertation on Black Men in the Criminal Justice System.
Upon completion, Dr. Toldson joined the faculty of Southern University and became the fourth recipient of the prestigious DuBois Fellowship from the US Department of Justice. He also served as the clinical director of the Manhood Training Village. He has received formal training in applied statistics from the University of Michigan, and held visiting research and teacher appointments at Emory, Drexel, and Morehouse School of Medicine.
Attorney Ricky Anderson is a 1983 graduate of Prairie View A&M University, receiving a Bachelor of Business Administration and his Juris Doctor Degree, from Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law in 1992, and was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 1992.Attorney Ricky Anderson has been the Managing Partner of the Law Firm of Anderson & Smith P.C. since 1994 with their office in Houston, Texas, as well as, an Adjunct Professor at Thurgood Marshall School of Law since 1998 where he lectures Entertainment Law, Music Industry Contracts and Trail Preparation.
The Law Firm of Anderson & Smith P.C. represents Celebrities, Comedian-Actor Steve Harvey, Academy Award Recipient Comedian-Actress Mo’Nique, Actor Isaiah Washington, of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, Four (4) Time Grammy Award Recipient, Gospel Great Yolanda Adams, Four (4) Time Grammy Award Recipients Gospel Duo Mary Mary, WBNA’s three (3) time MVP and four (4) time WNBA World Champion, Houston Comet’s Cynthia Cooper, Former Houston Oiler, and Tennessee Titan’s Eddie Robinson and a host of others.
In addition to the network television, movies, feature films, pay per view and HBO deals that Attorney Ricky Anderson develops, he is the Former Chairman and CEO of the Black Broadcasting Network, Inc., former CEO and President of CBS Records, Inc., a Texas Corporation, and the majority shareholder in Big City Enterprises, and Qudel Promotions, Inc. producing national concerts such as the “Kings of Comedy”, “Jazzfest”, “The Boys are Back”, and “The Hip Hop Comedy Reunion Tour”.
He is also the Executive Producer of the Nationally Syndicated Music Video Television Show, “Big City”, and such independent Feature Films as “Renegade”, “Beach Party Weekend”. Attorney Ricky Anderson has held esteemed positions as The National Bar Association’s Entertainment Attorney of the Year, 2006-2007, Recipient of the National Bar Association’s Presidential Award, 2008 and 2012.
Chairman, National Bar Association’s Entertainment, Sports & Arts Law Section 2010-Present, President Elect, Houston Bar Association’s Entertainment & Sports Law Section 2012-2013, Advisor to the Grammy’s Board of Governors Texas Chapter 2010-2011, Grammy Governor for The Recording Academy, Texas Board of Governors 2007-2010, 2011-Present.
The Honorable Judge Kimberly Esmond Adams is serving her second term on the Superior Court of Fulton County. She was elected to the bench and began her service in January 2009 on the State of Georgia’s largest and busiest trial court. Prior to her election, Judge Adams served the citizens of Fulton County as a Chief Senior Assistant District Attorney in the Office of the Fulton County District Attorney where she prosecuted major, complex felony cases. Her exceptional commitment to victims and community safety earned her the coveted distinction of Special Unit Trial Attorney of the Year by the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office. Judge Adams began her public service career in 2002 after practicing as an employment attorney with a national labor and employment boutique.
A past president of the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys (GABWA), Judge Adams is an active bar leader and dedicated community servant. She has served in a number of leadership capacities, both professionally and in her community, including the Board of Directors of the Atlanta Technical College Foundation, The Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys Foundation, the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta, Restorative Justice Board of the Atlanta Municipal Court, Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation and the Atlanta Bar Association Women in the Profession Committee. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Bar Association Judicial Council, the Atlanta Bar Association Judicial Section, the Foundation of Wesley Woods and the Gate City Bar Association Judicial Section where she is Immediate Past Chair. In addition, Judge Adams serves on the Leadership Atlanta Board of Trustees and as Chair of the National Advisory Board for Foreverfamily, a non-profit organization committed to mitigating the collateral effects on children of incarcerated parents. A proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, she also has been an active member and officer of Cascade United Methodist Church in Southwest Atlanta for nearly three decades.
Recognized both for her commitment to her profession and the community, Judge Adams has been the recipient of several honors and awards, most notably, Who’s Who in Law and Business by the Atlanta Business Chronicle (2006); Superwoman by Atlanta Tribune Magazine (2011); Woman of the Year – “Ordinary Woman With Extraordinary Talents” by Women Looking Ahead News Magazine (2008), Women Looking Ahead Woman of the Year Honoree – One of Georgia’s Most Influential Judges (2013), the Gate City Bar Association Thelma Wyatt Moore Legacy Award (2009) and the Alvin McKenna Distinguished Alumnus Award by the Notre Dame Law School Black Law Students Association (2010). Judge Adams also is a recipient of the Pinnacle Leadership Award from the East Point/College Park Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (2012), the Ben Hill United Methodist Church Martin Luther King, Jr. Award (2013), and she was named to the Atlanta Business League’s 2012 and 2013 Lists of Atlanta’s Top 100 Women of Influence. In 2012, Judge Adams received the Spirit of GABWA Award – the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorney’s highest award; and she was an honored recipient of the The Justice Robert Benham Award for Community Service in 2013. Most recently, Judge Adams received the Gate City Bar Association President’s Award of Excellence. Judge Adams also was invited to the White House in 2013 to participate in a research workshop which explored the effects of parental incarceration on children.
Judge Adams is among the city’s and State’s leaders and is an alumnus of both Leadership Atlanta and Leadership Georgia. She also is a member of several local and national bar associations. In addition, Judge Adams is committed to the development of young people and frequently serves as a mentor, speaker, moderator and panelist on topics ranging from the law and professionalism to education and the family.
Judge Adams earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C. and her Juris Doctor Degree from the Notre Dame Law School. She resides in Atlanta with her husband, Michael, and they are the proud parents of an adult son.
L. Chris Stewart is Managing Partner of Stewart, Seay & Felton Trial Attorneys, a personal injury litigation law firm. Chris focuses primarily on cases related to auto/trucking collisions, wrongful death, and premises liability with a specialty in sexual assault. Chris has received multiple jury verdicts and settlements for millions of dollars for his clients including one of the largest premises liability verdicts of 2010 in the state of Georgia, a record $5.1 million pre-trial settlement in 2011 and a 2013 Camden County record jury verdict of $1.5 million for sexual assault, which was followed four days later by a six figure slip and fall verdict in Hall County. In 2014, Chris received a $2 million dollar settlement for sexual assault as well as represented clients in a $75 million dollar class action settlement. Chris is also recognized worldwide for his civil right cases including the Walter Scott case and the Bryant Heyward case, both in Charleston, South Carolina.
Chris is regarded as one of Georgia’s top injury trial lawyers. In 2014, Chris received the Esquire Award from the National Bar Association’s Small Firms/Solo Practitioners Division for his professional achievements, numerous political/social causes affecting the African-American community, and mentorship of other attorneys. He was selected as a 2011-2015 Super Lawyer for the State of Georgia. In addition, in 2012 Chris was named on the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s list of Who’s Who in Law as a top Georgia attorney. He was also a finalist for Nation’s Best Advocates: 40 Lawyers under 40, selected for the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association’s LEAD program for most promising future leaders in law. Chris is also a member of the Atlanta Bar Association Judicial Selection and Tenure Committee. Chris formerly worked for the law firm of Morgan & Morgan where at the age of 29 he made partner. While at Morgan & Morgan, Chris represented over 2500 clients and has the Atlanta offices largest jury verdict. Chris has litigated cases in over twenty-five counties in Georgia and has taken over 1500 depositions.
Chris has taught a variety of legal education seminars for practicing attorneys including how to handle personal injury cases, trial demonstrations, advertising with social media and how to manage your social media presence. Chris has been featured in numerous local, national, and international media such as ABC, NBC, CBS, Upscale magazine, Rolling Out magazine and The Daily Report. Born and raised in Southwest Atlanta, Chris is extremely active in the Atlanta community. He tutored at Perkerson Elementary School and is Co-Chair of “If you can see it, you can be it,” a program focused on motivating inner city elementary school children to become lawyers. He also served on the Board of Directors for the Villages at Carver YMCA, as Regional Director for Region XI (Georgia, Florida & Alabama) of the National Bar Association, and as the 2011-2012 President of the Gate City Bar Association, Georgia’s largest and oldest African American Bar Association as well as being a 2014 Board Member of the Southern Center for Human Rights. A member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated, Chris earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with honors from Xavier University, a Master’s of Science in Public Health from Tulane University and his Juris Doctorate from Howard University School of Law.
Jana J. Edmondson-Cooper provides bilingual legal counsel and representation to low-income individuals, the majority of whom are limited English proficient (LEP), in administrative forums and courts of law. Her areas of practice include family law, health law, housing, public benefits, wills & estates and education law with a focus on language access as an access to justice issue. Jana draws upon her past experience as a professional legal interpreter and current role as a bilingual legal services attorney with Georgia Legal Services Program to engage in strategic access to justice advocacy. Jana’s advocacy includes, but is not limited to, contributing to the development of statewide and national curricula for training attorneys and judges on language access as an access to justice issue as well as the development of local, state and federal language access policies. An active member of the National Language Access Advocates Network, Jana has authored and co-authored several articles on language access. In 2013, at age 29, Jana was appointed to the Supreme Court of Georgia Commission on Interpreters which is the policy-making body appointed by the Court to oversee the development of a statewide plan for the use of interpreters in Georgia courts during the presentation of civil and criminal matters. Additional details about Jana’s advocacy may be found at www.linkedin.com/in/jjecesq .
Jana’s contributions to language access as an access to justice issue have been acknowledged statewide and nationally, including being 1 of 6 attorneys, nationally, recognized as an emerging leader and awarded a scholarship to attend the 2012 National Legal Aid and Defenders Association Litigation and Advocacy Directors Conference, being named to the Lawyers of Color 2014 Hot List , recognition by the Daily Report as one of 40 Georgia lawyers under age 40 named a rising legal star to watch and recognition by the National Bar Association as one of the nation’s top 40 lawyers under 40 who exemplify a broad range of high achievement, including in innovation, vision, leadership and legal and community involvement. Jana is a member of several professional organizations including the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys where she currently serves as Member-at-Large and Chair of the Regional Development Committee. An active member of the State Bar of Georgia (SBG), Jana also currently serves on the SBG Young Lawyers Division Board of Directors as well as the SBG’s Access to Justice Committee, Committee to Promote Inclusion in the Profession and Committee on Professionalism. Jana is a graduate of Spelman College and Mississippi College School of Law.
Kendra Brown currently serves as Policy Director of the Congressional Black Caucus. Kendra returns to the Hill from her role of Associate Legislative Counsel at Earthjustice, where she worked within the Policy and Legislation team to build coalition efforts and covered judicial nominations and access to courts issues. Previously, she was Special Assistant and Counsel in the United States House of Representatives to Representative Maxine Waters where she coordinated coalition outreach and community engagement, advised the Representative on legislation, and coordinated special events. She is a Former National Chair of the National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA), an organization comprised of over 200 chapters and nearly 6,000 members and currently serves as the President of the NBLSA Advisory Board. During her term as National Chair, NBLSA was active in election protection, leadership training and development, academic planning, career development, and extensive advocacy efforts.
Kendra graduated from Hampton University in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a minor in Business Management. She began her seminary studies in August 2005 by pursuing coursework at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia, completed her Master of Divinity at Howard University Divinity School in 2009, and received her law degree from Vermont Law School in 2009. Additionally, Kendra attended the George Washington University School of Law for her Master of Laws.
She is committed to community engagement and empowerment as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and The Links, Incorporated. She serves in a number of additional capacities, including as a Youth Leader in her local church, a member of the African American Advisory Council of Big Brothers Big Sisters, a board member of the Woolly Mammoth Theater Company, and the Young Lawyer’s Division Pipeline Committee Co-Chairman of the National Bar Association. She has received various awards, including the President’s Volunteer Service Award, the Pro Bono Service Award, the Patricia Roberts Harris Award for Excellence, the George Washington University Law School Justice Thurgood Marshall Civil Liberties Award, the Hampton University Alumni Association Northern Virginia Chapter’s 35th Anniversary Alumni Award, the State of Maryland Governor’s Volunteer Service Award, and the Hall of Fame Alumni Award of the Mid-Atlantic Region of the National Black Law Students Association.
Katherine S. Broderick was appointed Dean of the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law in August of 1999, having previously served as Interim Dean, Clinical Director, Associate Dean and faculty member since 1979. In 2011, she was named the Joseph L. Rauh, Jr. Chair of Social Justice.
Dean Broderick began her academic career as a clinical faculty member. She directed the Criminal Defense Clinic at the Antioch School of Law for ten years representing more than 2,000 individuals charged with crimes in the Superior and District Courts of the District of Columbia. She also co-directed the Legislation Clinic for four years, supervising students working primarily on health and safety, environmental justice and criminal justice legislation with the D.C. Council. She has taught Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Professional Responsibility, and a seminar, “Perspectives on Social Justice.” She taught in Harvard Law School’s Trial Advocacy Workshop, in the Fall Semester, for many years.
Under her leadership during the last sixteen years as dean, major accomplishments include securing the highest level of American Bar Association Accreditation, establishing part-time and LL.M. programs, serving the legal needs of thousands of low-income District residents through the School’s nine legal clinics, moving into a beautifully renovated 100,000 square foot law school building, completing a handsome $1.6 million library expansion project and raising over $10 million for endowed chairs, endowed and annual scholarships, summer public interest fellowships, and clinical programs.
A committed civil libertarian, Dean Broderick is a past president and has served on the Board of the American Civil Liberties Union of the Nation’s Capital for many years. She also serves on the Board of D.C. Appleseed. She is a founder and ardent participant in the D.C. Consortium of Legal Services Providers, an organization committed to increasing the quantity, improving the quality, and coordinating the delivery of legal services to low-income D.C. residents. She was appointed by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals to serve on the District of Columbia’s Access to Justice Commission for 2008 and is now serving a third term. She was named to the Norton Federal Law Enforcement Nominating Commission in 2009 and continues to serve. She also hosts Sound Advice, a UDC cable television show available in 200,000 D.C. households, providing information about legal issues affecting the District’s most vulnerable residents, including predatory lending, domestic violence, AIDS and the District’s abuse and neglect system.
Dean Broderick received the 2010 Champion of Justice Award from the Trial Lawyers Association of Washington for her successful efforts to establish and develop the School of Law and the 2009 Deborah L. Rhode Award from the Association of American Law Schools in recognition of her work to increase pro bono and public service opportunities in law schools. She was named “Hero in the Law” by the Olender Foundation for 2007 and one of the 100 most powerful women in Washington by the Washingtonian Magazine in 2006. She was honored with the “Servant of Justice Award” by the Legal Aid Society in 2005. Dean Broderick received the national Equal Justice Works Outstanding Law School Dean award in 2002, and the William Pincus Award for “Outstanding Contributions to Clinical Legal Education” given by the Association of American Law Schools in 1999. Dean Broderick was named a Fellow of the American Bar Association in 2000.
Dean Broderick and her late husband John Clegg’s daughter, Isabella, is a 2010 graduate of Wilson Senior High, a D.C. public school. Isabella is majoring in film at The University of Colorado.
Current Dean (2009-2015) and Professor Dannye Holley received his B.A. and J.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo; and his LL.M. from the University of California, Berkeley. This is his forty-third year of law school service, research, scholarship, and teaching. His most recent teaching assignments include Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Advanced Criminal Law and Procedure, and Evidence. He has served as a Faculty member for each of the first three Texas Center for the Judiciary Evidence Summit for sitting Texas Judges, 2008, 2010, and 2012. His recent publications have focused on culpability standards and their evaluations by the federal and states’ supreme courts; the constitutionality of the criminalization of suspicion, and a national study of the variances in and policy wisdom of the evidence rule regulating the admission of convictions to impeach. His current completed manuscript is on the federalism implications of the national confrontation clause as interpreted in “Crawford” and its progeny was accepted for publication by the Criminal Law Bulletin.
Dean Holley has also authored an article on teaching critical thinking and served as a Director of the law school Center for Legal Pedagogy over a decade. The center focuses on providing a series of teaching and learning written tips and conducting Teaching and Learning Workshops. The law school now has an integrated academic program centered on performance and assessment of accomplishment of its strategic academic goals. The program includes awarding scholarships to attract and retain students with potential to excel at the law school and providing academic support that begins prior to the students’ first day of class, and culminates with a series of coordinated courses focusing on performance on the bar exam. The school has also adopted an assessment program that measures the effectiveness of all aspects of its teaching and broader academic support program.
Danielle Holley-Walker is the new Dean of the Howard University School of Law. She was previously the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of South Carolina School Of Law.
Dean Holley-Walker grew up in Houston, Texas. She earned a B.A. from Yale University and her J.D. from Harvard University. Following law school, Dean Holley-Walker clerked for Chief Judge Carl E. Stewart of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. She then practiced civil litigation at Fulbright & Jaworski, LLP (now Norton Rose Fulbright) in Houston, Texas.
Dean Holley-Walker began her teaching career at Hofstra University School of Law, and then moved to the University of South Carolina in 2005. She teaches Civil Procedure, Administrative Law, and Federal Courts. Dean Holley-Walker’s ongoing research agenda focuses on issues of educational opportunity and inclusion, with an emphasis on the governance of public schools. She has published scholarly articles on various issues of civil rights and education, including articles on No Child Left Behind, charter school policy, desegregation cases, and affirmative action in higher education.
Dean Holley-Walker has won numerous awards and has been active in her community. She won the University of South Carolina Educational Foundation’s Service Award for performing significant service to the University and the community. She was awarded the law school’s Outstanding Faculty Member award twice during her time at South Carolina. She was also named by The State newspaper as one of the top “20 Under 40” leaders for the state of South Carolina. Dean Holley-Walker has served as Chair of the Board of Directors of the South Carolina HIV/AIDS Council, and as a board member for City Year Columbia. She is also a Liberty fellow through the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Phyliss Craig-Taylor is Dean of North Carolina Central University (NCCU) School of Law. Prior to becoming Dean, Craig-Taylor served as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and a Professor of Law at the Charlotte School of Law. Craig-Taylor has taught courses in Property, Real Estate Finance, Advanced Issues in Property, Land Use, Women and the Law, Land Loss, and Professional Responsibility. Craig-Taylor has been a faculty member at the University of Florida and North Carolina Central University as well as visiting scholar at the University of Warsaw Center for American Law.
Craig-Taylor is a member of the Council for the American Bar Association Section of Litigation. She has held numerous other leadership positions with the ABA including Division Director and a member of the Civil Trial Practice Task Force. Currently she serves as a member of the Heirs Property Retention Coalition, and formerly served as the ABA Advisor to the Drafting Committee on Partition of Tenancy-in-Common Real Property Act for the Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (formerly National Conference of Commissioners of Uniform State Laws), and as a member of the Judicial Partition of Tenancy in Common Property Study Commission for the North Carolina State Legislature and she serves on the Ethics Advisory Committee Member of the North Carolina State Bar. Craig-Taylor also serves on multiple community boards.
Craig-Taylor received her Green Belt certification in Six Sigma process management from Vanderbilt University. Under her leadership a support program was created that focused on study skills, reading comprehension, time management, examination preparation and a successful bar preparation program.
Craig-Taylor has published numerous articles on land loss in the African-American community and discrimination in the application of laws for minority groups, including women. She is currently writing a book on the subject of land loss.
A graduate of the University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, where she completed both her undergraduate degree and law degree, she later served as a partner in the law firm of England & Bivens and as a judicial clerk for the Alabama Supreme Court. She later earned a Master of Laws degree at Columbia University.
Professor Darryll K. Jones joined Florida A&M University College of Law in July 2009 and serves as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. He received his LLM (Tax) and JD degrees from the University of Florida. From 1993 to 2006 he taught at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law where he also served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 2003 until 2006.
Dean Jones is the author of The Theory and Practice of Partnership Taxation 2nd Edition, published by Thomson-West and is lead co-author of The Taxation of Charities and Other Exempt Organizations, 2nd Edition, also published by Thomson-West. His scholarship on federal taxation has appeared in the Florida Tax Review, the Virginia Tax Review, Brigham Young University Law Review, the University of Pittsburgh Law Review, Northwestern Journal of International Law and Business and several other publications. Dean Jones has been consulted by members of Congress, including the Senate Finance Committee, the House Ways and Means Committee, staff to the Joint Committee on Taxation, and the Internal Revenue Service on issues relating to individual income tax, partnership tax, and the tax laws of exempt organizations.
He is the author of “K-Rations” a column on partnership taxation appearing monthly in Tax Notes magazine and co-editor of the Nonprofit Law Professors Blog. Prior to becoming a full time tax law scholar, Professor Jones served as General Counsel at Columbia College Chicago and Associate General Counsel at the University of Florida. He also served for five years in the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s Corp.
John K. Pierre has been on the law faculty of the Southern University Law Center since 1990 and was promoted to vice chancellor in 2006.Pierre is a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association and the Texas Bar Association.
He has previous teaching experience as a visiting and adjunct professor at California State University, Southern Methodist University School of Law, Loyola University Law School, Southern University College of Business, Saint Leo’s College, Webster University, Louisiana State University, and Baton Rouge Community College.He received the bachelor’s degree in accounting from Southern University in 1980, a master’s degree in tax accounting from Texas Tech University in 1982, and a juris doctor degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law in 1985.
Pierre has published numerous articles on tax law, sales and contracts, real estate and commercial law, ranging from magazine features to legal journal and law review articles.
Jasmin A. Morris is a third year law student at Mercer University- Walter F. George School of Law and proudly ranks in the top 25% of her law school class. Born and raised in Richmond, VA, Ms. Morris knew a legal education was in her future. She attended Hampton University, serving in many roles such as the Senior Class President. After graduating Summa Cum Laude from Hampton University, and matriculating into Mercer Law, she spent her 1L summer interning with The Honorable Vanessa D. Gilmore, United States District Court Judge for the Southern District of Texas.
Following this, she studied abroad in London, England with students from the Georgetown University Law Center. While in her second year of law school, she was selected to join the Mercer Law Mock Trial team for the National Criminal Justice Trial Advocacy Competition, sponsored by the American Bar Association. Ms. Morris was elected to serve on the executive board of the Black Law Students Association at Mercer Law as the Events Co-Chair. This role allowed her to engage closely with her fellow law school colleagues and various Mercer Law graduates. Furthermore, she enhanced her legal skills by serving as an intern with the Rockefeller Law Center in Warner Robins, Ga. Upon the completion of her second year, she dedicated her summer to volunteering with the United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.
As a third year law student, she desires to give back to her community by setting a positive example for her peers. Currently, she is interning with The Honorable Bensonetta Tipton Lane, Family Law Division Chief Judge, at the Fulton County Superior Court. Furthermore, she is serving as the Membership Coordinator for the Southern Region of the Black Law Students Association and the Mercer Law Student Liaison for the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys.
Upon graduation, Jasmin plans to pursue a legal career within a federal agency. Moreover, she has plans to start her own organization focusing on the spiritual empowerment of others. In her spare time, she likes to travel, volunteer within her community, and spend time with her family and loved ones. This weekend, looking to be of service, Ms. Morris will work to inspire others to attend law school. She believes that if she can successfully pursue a legal education, then anyone can successfully pursue a legal education.
Ms. Smith is a native of Rancho Cucamonga California. After 17-years on the West Coast, she brought her eagerness to learn to the great state of Alabama when she joined the student body at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree summa cum laude in English Language and Literature from Stillman in 2013. At Stillman, Ms. Smith was the highest ranking member of her graduating class, a nominee for HBCU Female Student of the year, the President of the Student Government Association, and a member of Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary Band Sorority, Inc., and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
Currently, Ms. Smith is a third year student at the University of Alabama School of Law in Tuscaloosa Alabama. She is also completing her Masters Degree in Health Studies. In her first year of law school, Ms. Smith was awarded the Dean Nathaniel Hansford Student Service and Leadership award. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the Alabama Civil Rights Civil Liberties Law Review. She participated as a member of the National Health Law Transactional Moot Court Competition Team where she was awarded 3rd best oralist, was inducted as a member of the Bench and Bar Legal Honor Society, serves as a Law School Ambassador, and is the student representative on the Faculty Committee for Student Diversity and Academic Support. She was the Second Vice President of her school’s BLSA chapter where her main task was fundraising for scholarship opportunities, and she serves as the secretary of the Health Law Society.
Ms. Smith is currently a Research Assistant for Professor Adam Steinman. She assists Professor Steinman with his editing of Wright and Miller Federal Practice and Procedure. In the past, she has clerked in the Birmingham office of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, and at Williams, Parker, Harrison, Dietz, & Getzen in Sarasota Florida.
Outside of law school, Ms. Smith enjoys participating in intramural volleyball, playing her clarinet, and even participating in pick-up basketball games with her friends. She is an active member of the Pi Tau Zeta chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. and continues to serve the community with her chapter. She frequently returns to her alma mater where she has developed a mentoring and pipeline program for pre-law students.
Belashia Wallace is a Lt. Governor of Law Student Professional Development for the American Bar Association and a two-time National Director for National Black Law Students Association.
Mrs. Wallace is a native of Missouri City, Texas. She graduated with honors from Lamar University, where she earned her Bachelor’s in Communications. At Lamar, Mrs. Wallace was an award-winning student who served as Editor for Lamar’s major publications and President of Lamar’s largest student organizations. Her leadership included being the founder of Lamar’s first women’s empowerment organization and Lamar’s first-held Unity March to end the racial divide on campus. As part of her initiative as the Miss Black & Gold Scholarship Pageant winner, she regularly mentored underprivileged girls throughout the state. Mrs. Wallace was also initiated into the Zeta Beta chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, where she was an honorary speaker to more than 10,000 members at her sorority’s 100-year celebration. Upon graduation, she became the youngest Mayoral appointee to serve on two committees affecting more than 100,000 citizens.
Mrs. Wallace is currently a third-year student and Dean’s List scholar at Thurgood Marshall School of Law, where she is a writing advisor to first-year law students and a student ambassador for the law school. She also received local and national awards through her service as Chair of the State Bar of Texas Law Student Division, Law Student Liaison for Texas Young Lawyers Association, Charter Member of her school’s Women of Law chapter, and Problem Writer for the Board of Advocates.
In addition to her organizational leadership, Mrs. Wallace interned with one of the nation’s largest District Attorney’s Offices and also worked for a variety of law firms in the areas of real estate litigation, criminal defense, family law, and probate law. She was also selected as a federal judicial intern through the American Bar Association and Just the Beginning – A Pipeline Organization. Mrs. Wallace credits much of her law school success to the opportunities provided to her as a pre-law student through Evangeline Mitchell’s annual National Black Pre-Law Conference. Through that opportunity, she met law students and attorneys who guided her through the law school process and have served as her mentors to this day.
Mrs. Wallace is married to Dr. Jerry Wallace, and they collectively serve as Christian youth ministry leaders at their church in Houston, Texas.
Mitchell Brown was born in Fredericksburg, VA and he is a second year law student at New York University School of Law, serving as the President of the Black Allied Law Students Association (BALSA). Mitchell is also a 2012 graduate of North Carolina A&T State University, earning a Bachelors of Science in Business Economics and a Minor in Philosophy. Mitchell interned with Common Cause-North Carolina during college, registering students and members of the community to vote. As a Common Cause intern, he helped to promote the collegiate voice in the fight against the 2011 Voter ID Bill in North Carolina. It was during this struggle that he recognized his call to enter the legal profession. As an attorney, he intends to fight injustices in our legal system that are still being perpetrated against many sectors of our society. Mitchell is very passionate about this pursuit, because “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”. His passion continues forth as he is working at the Brennan Center for Justice this summer, working on voting rights, fair courts, and money and politics. Mitchell is also a Spring 2010 initiate of the Beta Epsilon Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Mitchell served as a 2012 Teach For America Corps Member, teaching 8th grade special education at KIPP Central City Academy in inner city New Orleans, LA. It was during his two-year service that he further realized his desire to study law because he witnessed firsthand educational injustices, specifically dealing with allocation of resources to schools and the treatment of students with special needs. Mitchell believes that every child has the right to an excellent education, and their dreams and aspirations are in jeopardy if we don’t adequately educate them. Therefore, Mitchell not only taught in the classroom, but also emphasized teaching his students life skills through coaching football and basketball. Mitchell’s inspiration for entering the legal field originates from a biblical and community standpoint. He believes that he has been called to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, to defend the defenseless, and to empower those who feel powerless. Mitchell will strive to do this by working as a legal advocate in the civil rights arena, aiming to ensure that the United States lives up to its promises made in our Constitution.
“If purpose is present, then nothing can stop the determined individual from his/her rendezvous with destiny” (Anonymous).
William Lee is a native of Camden, New Jersey and attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA. He received a B.A. in Political Science with emphasis on Political Philosophy, graduating cum laude in 2012. While at Morehouse, William served as President of the Morehouse-Spelman Pre-Law Society and was an Honors Program Scholar. William’s undergraduate honors and awards include the Arnall Golden Gregory Leadership Award, a Morehouse College Institutional Academic Scholarship and the Alpha Phi Alpha, Zeta Omicron Lambda Chapter, Merit Scholarship.
Following Morehouse, William returned to his hometown and worked as a community organizer with Camden Churches Organized for People. In this position, he organized a city-wide voter engagement campaign that impacted over 1,500 voters and worked with healthcare advocacy groups throughout New Jersey to implement a city-wide education and outreach program for Medicaid Expansion through the Affordable Care Act. Additionally, William helped to develop curriculum to train clergy and community leaders in faith-based community organizing techniques.
William is currently a second year law student at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He is interested in health law, specifically with how regulatory schemes impact hospitals and other large health institutions. William spent this past summer working at both Yale New Haven Health System and Wiggin and Dana LLP as the Wiggin and Dana Diversity Scholar, where he was able to research health law issues from both a firm and in-house perspective. William currently serves as the Social Advocacy Chair for the Penn Law Black Law Student’s Association (BLSA), an Intake Coordinator with the Employment Advocacy Project, and a volunteer with the Criminal Record Expungement Project.
Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, Ebony Brown graduated from Howard University with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in English. At Howard, Ebony was a member and proud captain of the cheerleading team, a resident assistant, and a proactive executive board member of the College of Arts & Sciences Honors Association. Her passion for community service and drive to influence youth throughout the D.C. metro area led her to volunteer for three years as a cheerleading coach at Maya Angelou Public Charter School in Northeast D.C. There, she received “The Maya Way” Award for Volunteerism.
Ebony explored her passion for helping others through a more permanent and progressive means by choosing to attend Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law subsequent to graduating from Howard.
Currently, Ebony is a rising third-year student, where she serves as the Student Writing Editor of the Mercer Law Review and Head Student Representative for BARBRI. As a second-year law student, Ebony clerked for the Honorable Verda M. Colvin of the Superior Court of Bibb County, while serving as the Academic Chair and Coordinator for the Talented Tenth Academic Enhancement Program for the Black Law Students Association. She was also selected to mentor first-year students through Mercer Law’s Academic Success Program.
Ebony plans to continue her journey to empower women and girls of color to achieve academic success as she aspires to be a model for change and diversity in the legal profession.
Anthony Showell is a rising third year law student at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. In the upcoming school year, he will serve as Vice-President of the Student Bar Association, Vice-Chair for the Executive Board of Moot Court, Student Representative for the Atlanta Bar Association, and as a Peer Mentor to the incoming class.
Anthony was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey and graduated from Morgan State University where he received his Bachelors of Science in Telecommunication in 2010. During his matriculation, Anthony was a Dean’s List Scholar, Morgan State Gateway Scholar, Honor’s Program Scholar, and Thurgood Marshall College Fund Scholar. Also, Anthony was a member of the Promethean Kappa Tau Honor Society and Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society, where he served as Fundraising Chair. As an initiate of the Alpha Iota chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated, Anthony served as the Exchequer (Treasurer) and significantly strengthened the chapter’s financial position. During his tenure on the chapter’s board, he played an integral part in raising and donating over $5,000.00 to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
As President of the Black Law Student Association chapter at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, Anthony implemented a variety of programs aimed at cultivating the relationship between law students and the surrounding community. Supporting the Cochran Firm, the chapter volunteered at their free legal aid clinic, which provided free aid to an underserved area of Atlanta. Participating in the Dekalb County Police Department’s Healing the Divide initiative, Anthony represented the chapter by serving as a panelist to bridge the gap between African American youth and the police at an Atlanta area high school. Dedicated to serving the community, Anthony led the chapter in donating over four hundred (400) pounds of food to the Atlanta Community Food Bank, and one hundred (100) pairs of shoes to Soles for Souls. Anthony is regularly acknowledged and rewarded for his activism and representation of the voiceless for his regular community involvement and interviews with the local media.
Anthony is a student member of the Georgia Bar, Gate City Bar Association, and Atlanta Bar Association. He currently works as a law clerk for an Atlanta area law firm and as a LexisNexis representative. After graduation, Anthony wants to practice Copyright and Trademark litigation. During the past semester, he received the Cali Award in his Trademarks course. Ultimately, Anthony wants to blaze a path for his successors and create opportunities for future generations.
Dakini C. Fields is a 3L at John Marshall Law School and is currently an intern for the Honorable Judge Glenda Hatchett at The Hatchett Firm, PC. She was also a 2015 Gate City Bar Summer Associate and worked for the prominent Corporate defense firm, Thomas Kennedy Sampson & Tompkins. During her 2L year, she was a Judicial Intern for the Honorable Judge Willie Lovett Jr. at the Fulton County Juvenile Court (FCJC), where she supported Judge Lovett’s Dual Status Youth Initiative. She also worked in the Office of Student Services as a Student Coordinator, where she was lead coordinator and host of the Spring 2015 Orientation for incoming students at John Marshall Law School.
During spring 2015, Dakini was a Student Teacher for “Street Law”, a service organization that aims to empower and educate at risk youth by teaching 1L core subjects at Booker T. Washington High School and facilitating a high school mock trial for the Honorable Eleanor Ross, Presiding U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Georgia. Dakini was recently elected to serve as Vice-President of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) for the 2015-2016 academic year.
Prior to law school, Dakini taught 7th Grade Reading at KIPP Academy Nashville, as a Teach for America Corp member, and worked as a Legal Intern for the General Counsel of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Fisk University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. In her spare time, Dakini enjoys mentoring local youth, working out, and spending time with her family.
Charles McGee was born and raised in Oakland, CA and relocated to Miami, FL where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Florida Memorial University, the only HBCU in South Florida. He is a rising 3L at Florida International University College of Law, where he serves as the Vice-President of the H.T. Smith Black Law Students Association chapter, as well as the Pre-Law Co-Director for the Southern Region of the National Black Law Students Association.
Kory C. Hawkins has spent the past ten years working in higher education administration, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Currently, he is the Associate Director of Admissions at UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. In this role he has served on a number of panels and committees in order to promote diversity in legal education, including the San Francisco Bar Association Diversity Pipeline Admissions Panel, Western Regional BLSA Conference panel, and the Pacific Coast Association of Pre-Law Advisors Conference Panel. Most recently, he was appointed to the LSAC Diversity Committee for a one year renewable term.
Prior to UC Hastings, Kory was the Assistant Dean of Admissions and Recruitment at his alma mater, Morehouse College. In this role he gained a great deal of experience working with students and parents of various socio-economic backgrounds and helping them to understand the value of their educational investment.
As a student at Morehouse, Kory majored in Spanish and studied in both Spain and the Dominican Republic. He then went on to pursue his JD at Emory University, where he focused on international law and spent a semester at the University College Faculty of Laws in London. During his summers between law school, he interned with IBM Americas in New York as part of the Latino Justice Corporate Legal Internship Program and with the Judge Hatchett Show.
Kory genuinely enjoys working with students in order to help them achieve their goals and have a positive overall educational experience.
Collins Byrd has served in higher education enrollment management for 27 years, 22 of which have been focused on law school admissions.
Currently, Mr. Byrd is the assistant dean of admissions for the University of Iowa College of Law. He is responsible for the Admissions Office’s strategic planning process, the marketing plan, the selection process, the admissions recruitment process, and the communications management related to enrolling the entering class for the College of Law. He is also responsible for the scholarship nomination process for all entering law school students.
Mr. Byrd has worked as the assistant to the director of admissions at Dartmouth College, assistant director of admissions at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, assistant dean of admissions at William Mitchell College of Law (MN), and director of admissions at The University of Minnesota Law School. He began his current position with The University of Iowa College of Law in 2005.
Between his graduation from the MBA program at The Kellogg Graduate School of Management in 1984 and his re-entry into the graduate admissions field in 1990, he gained valuable work experience in corporate marketing and budget management with General Mills, Inc. and The Pillsbury Company. He also gained exposure to higher education fundraising and development issues as a Consulting Associate with the consulting firm of Bentz Whaley Flessner.
Mr. Byrd earned an AB degree from Dartmouth College and an MBA degree from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. His MBA degree includes a triple major: Marketing, Strategic Planning, and Public and Non-Profit Management.
Reginald A. McGahee became an Assistant Dean at Howard University School of Law at the age of 26. Now in his sixth year as the Dean of Admissions, he is well known for his innovative ideas and dedication to help shape the future of the law school. A native of Augusta, Georgia, Reggie attended South Carolina State University (“SCSU”) where he received dual degrees in English and Political Science. As an honor student at SCSU, he traveled the country to represent his undergrad, was selected to serve as a Washington DC Capitol Intern, served as the Student Director of the South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus, and helped organize and run two state Senatorial campaigns. Additionally, he was selected as the youngest member of a fellowship at the University of Virginia Ralph Bunche Summer Institute in the area of political science for his research in group utility heuristics in the African American Community.
After completing his undergraduate studies, Reggie enrolled in Howard University School of Law and studied intellectual property and contract negotiations. While at Howard, he served on the university’s Board of Trustees, the Huver I. Brown Trial Advocacy Moot Court team and as an executive officer of the Student Bar Association. He received numerous scholarships including the Earl Davis Award given to the District of Columbia law student that demonstrates significant academic and civic achievement. In 2007-2008 the National Bar Association named him the Young Lawyer of the Year.
Reggie fully accepts his responsibilities as Assistant Dean and regularly speaks to diverse audiences about professional and graduate school development. In addition, he continues to practice law representing the intellectual property and contract matters of clients ranging in issues as diverse as corporate structuring, entertainment and contract negotiations. Reggie served as a certified contract agent with the National Football Players Association and a featured panelist with many prominent entertainment and civic leaders as they discussed the role popular culture plays in the development of personal imagery during the Congressional Black Caucus on Capitol Hill.
While this rising star is just beginning to burn bright, he endeavors to lead by example and served on various volunteer boards in the legal and DC metropolitan communities. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the National Bar Association, American Bar Association, and served as a board member to UPinDC, which was a young professional advisory board convened by the former mayor of the District of Columbia Anthony Williams. He is also on the advisory board of the National Pre-Law Association, which is an organization with a mission to increase the number of students of color in law school and the legal profession. On a personal level, he feels that life is God’s gift to us, what we do with it is our gift to God.
Cheryl Jester-George has more than 30 years of college administration experience in student affairs. As the senior director of admissions, she is responsible for policy setting, implementation and evaluation of Georgia State Law’s admissions, scholarships and retention processes.
Jester-George works with the Law School Admission Council and serves on the Diversity Committee. She serves on many panels regarding law school admissions, retention and pipeline initiatives. She also has been an active member of the Law Related Education Consortium Board of Directors for more than 11 years, a program promoting the teaching of civil and law related courses in secondary schools.
During her tenure, Jester-George has made an effort to focus on and implement secondary education and pipeline programs. She has developed mentoring programs with Morehouse College and with high schools in Georgia’s DeKalb and Rockdale county school systems. She has planned and presented at the Minority Leadership Conference in Georgia and has served as a co-organizer of the Gate City Bar Association’s Justice Robert Benham Law Camp, which is held at the College of Law every summer. Jester-George serves on the workgroup for the State Department of Education legal services pathway.
Jester-George is an adjunct professor in the College of Business at Clark Atlanta University. She holds an Ed.D. from Clark Atlanta University.
She is a member of the Georgia State University’s Staff Council and serves as chair of the Administrative Committee. Jester-George also chairs the University’s Advancement of Women Staff Steering committee. She is the winner of several awards for service, including the Georgia State University Sparks award for her contribution to the university community. She received the Distinguished Service award from the University System of Georgia’s Administrative Committee on Graduate Work and the Linda Chastain Faculty/Staff Member of the Year Award from the Black Law Student Association.
Mark Jefferson joined the University of Michigan Law School Admissions Office in January 2014. He received his BA, magna cum laude, in philosophy from Morehouse College and his JD from Michigan Law. Prior to returning to Ann Arbor and joining the Admissions Office, Mark was finishing his first novel, Maria Callas Snaps a Rose in Two; prior to that, he was in private practice as a corporate associate in Manhattan. Mark spends his time outside of the office reading, writing, and listening to jazz and European classical music. His favorite musicians are Sarah Vaughan, Dexter Gordon, and J.S. Bach. His favorite book is the next one.
Nolan James is the Director of Admissions and Financial Aid for The University of Akron School of Law. He oversees the recruitment and retention efforts for the law school and assists with a number of the school’s strategic diversity initiatives. Mr. James serves as a Commissioner for the City of Akron’s Housing Appeals board and he is a member of the Board of Trustees for Greenleaf Family Center in Akron.
Nolan received his Bachelors degree in International Business from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama. He received his Juris Doctor and Masters in Business Administration from The University of Akron. Prior to joining the administration of The University of Akron. Nolan focused on SEC Compliance for a large multinational consulting firm. He is admitted to practice law in the states of Ohio and Florida.
Nolan and his wife Allison reside in Kenmore and they are members of Immaculate Conception Parish in Kenmore. Nolan is running for Akron City Council this fall where he hopes to serve as the councilman for Akron’s 9th Ward.
Randy Mathews serves as Associate Dean for Enrollment Services for Lincoln Memorial University’s John J. Duncan, Jr. School of Law in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Dean Mathews joined LMU Law in December 2012 as the director of admissions and he was promoted to associate dean in January 2014.
Prior to joining LMU Law, Dean Mathews worked with BARBRI, the nation’s largest provider of law school and bar review services, for nearly 20 years. In his time there, he helped tens of thousands of law students prepare for their law school exams and bar exams. Over the years he held a variety of positions with BARBRI ranging from student representative while in law school to regional vice president for the Midwest and Southern Regions. In his last three years with the company, Randy was named Vice President of Academic Affairs because of his success with creating and managing innovative academic and bar review programs.
Dean Mathews earned a B.S. in Political Science from Spring Hill College, a J.D. from Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law, and an M.B.A. from the University of Alabama – Birmingham.
Harold E. Franklin, Jr. is a partner with King & Spalding and practices in the firm’s Tort Litigation Practice, which was selected by The American Lawyer in 2012 as one of the top three in the United States. Having joined the firm in 2000, Mr. Franklin’s national litigation and trial practice focuses heavily on complex and high-stakes product liability litigation and has also included business disputes and internal investigations. Mr. Franklin has represented a number of the country’s largest automotive, pharmaceutical, beverage, and package delivery companies and has been actively involved in handling a multitude of matters throughout the continental United States and abroad in “bet-the-company” litigation.
Mr. Franklin has utilized his fluency in Spanish in his law practice in matters in Puerto Rico, Europe and South America. In 2004, he was selected by General Motors Corporation to serve as in-house counsel for the corporation’s product litigation group. In his role as in-house counsel (while on-loan from King & Spalding), he was responsible for selecting and retaining outside counsel and managing complex automotive product liability litigation across the nation. He has litigated and also managed the defense of a broad array of cases in both federal and state courts across the country and also currently serves as one of two national written discovery counsels for one of the world’s largest automotive manufacturers.
Mr. Franklin is a 1990 graduate of Emory University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Spanish. After Emory, Mr. Franklin served as Vice President for an insurance brokerage firm specializing in group benefit plans for many of the nation’s leading insurance companies. Mr. Franklin received his Juris Doctor from Georgia State University School of Law in 1999. During law school, he served as a Student Judicial Clerk to the Supreme Court of Georgia for now retired and former Chief Justice Leah W. Sears and also served as a judicial extern with the Federal Reserve Bank. In addition, he studied international law in the 1997 Transnational Comparative Dispute Resolution Program at the law school at Johannes Keppler University in Linz, Austria.
While in law school, Mr. Franklin received a host of awards in local, regional, and national trial and appellate competitions, including: Ranked 2nd place in First Year Research, Writing, and Analysis Moot Court Oral Argument Competition; Nominated “Best Oralist” in the 1997-98 Student Trial Lawyer’s Association Trial Competition; Ranked 3rd Place in 1997-98 Student Trial Lawyer’s Southeast Regional Trial Competition; Ranked 1st Place in Preliminary Rounds and National Semi-Finalist in 1999 National Criminal Justice Trial Advocacy Competition; and Ranked 2nd Place Regional Finalist in 1999 Jessup International Moot Court Competition.
Notwithstanding the demands and rigors of his active and demanding national practice, Mr. Franklin has remained committed and actively engaged in numerous pro bono and community service endeavors in service to the community and bar. At King & Spalding, Mr. Franklin has served on the Hiring Committee and Diversity Committee.
In addition to serving for several years as chair of Gate City Bar Association’s (“Gate City”) Scholarship Committee, Mr. Franklin is the Founder and a Past Chair of the Gate City Bar Foundation, the non-profit arm of the organization. During his tenure as Gate City Bar President, the organization served as the official host of the 2007 National Bar Association Convention, which broke all prior attendance and fundraising records.
In 2007, Mr. Franklin founded the Gate City Justice Robert Benham Law Camp (“Law Camp”), the organization’s first institutional outreach program. The three-week long institutional program (a collaborative effort with the Georgia State University College of Law and Clark Atlanta University) is designed to foster and increase diversity in the legal profession by exposing local high school students to the study of the law and career opportunities in the legal profession. The program, currently in its eighth year, has provided over 175 deserving students with extensive exposure to the legal profession. The program continues to garner accolades in Georgia and beyond and was emulated by the State Bar of Georgia, which created a similar program in 2008.
Through his service locally and on the national Executive Board of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Mr. Franklin has worked extensively and spoken through print and broadcast (radio and television) media, both locally and nationally, in connection with the non-partisan Election Protection coalition. In 2008 and again in 2010, Mr. Franklin served as the National Chair of the Election Protection Task Force for the National Bar Association. He currently serves as Regional Vice Chair for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
Mr. Franklin has lectured locally and nationally on both legal and pro bono related topics ranging from evidentiary issues involving product liability law, to deposition strategy/best practices, to Voting Rights and Non-Partisan Election Protection initiatives, to Ethics in the legal profession. He served as the Keynote Speaker at the 2008 Bench and Bar Reception at the Georgia State University College of Law. In 2009, he served as the keynote Election Protection speaker at the 25th Anniversary Conference of the World Conference of Mayors. Mr. Franklin served as the 2009 Law Day Keynote Speaker at the Georgia State University College of Law, where he gave an extensive lecture entitled A Legacy of Liberty – Celebrating Lincoln’s Bicentennial. He has repeatedly served as faculty for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy for its annual deposition skills program.
In 2009, Mr. Franklin was selected by the Georgia United States Congressional Delegation to serve on a 13 member Federal Judicial Advisory panel to the delegation regarding Presidential appointments to selected judgeships on the U.S. District Courts, U.S. Attorneys, and U.S. Marshals in Georgia.
Mr. Franklin and his wife, Cynthia, are the proud parents of four young children.
Nicole Henderson is a second-year law student at Georgia State University. She received her Bachelor’s in Finance from Howard University, and went on to teach underprivileged youth in Washington, D.C. for two years before attending law school.
Currently, Nicole is the President of the Black Law Students Association, one of the College of Law’s largest and most respected student organizations. She is also a member of moot court, will be participating in a moot arbitration competition in Vienna, Austria, and is pursuing her Master’s in Health Administration to pursue a career in health law.
Adwoa Ghartey-Tagoe Seymour is a litigation partner at the global law firm of Bryan Cave LLP practicing in the areas of commercial litigation and products liability. She is also a registered neutral with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution, certified in the areas of mediation and arbitration. Adwoa uses her alternative dispute resolution and litigation skills to work closely with her clients to develop, implement and execute litigation and trial strategies, develop pre-litigation resolution strategies, and provide general advice regarding assessment and improvement of general corporate and business practices so as to avoid future disputes.
Adwoa primarily represents businesses in their disputes with their consumers, representing both companies and manufacturers in products liability litigation, business tort and contract disputes, and insurer tortious bad faith litigation. She also represents financial institutions in class actions and individual cases involving loan servicing claims, federal lending
laws and regulations, and consumer protection claims. She serves on the national counsel defense teams for various clients managing local counsel, negotiating and assessing opportunities for alternative dispute resolution, and directly litigating those cases pending in the southeast. Adwoa has successfully represented her clients in state courts, federal courts, at mediation and in various arbitration forums. She is licensed to practice in both Georgia and Florida.
Adwoa has a long-standing commitment to her profession and community. She currently serves as the President of the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys (GABWA) and also serves on the board of the GABWA Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization founded to facilitate GABWA’s charitable and educational activities. She has a strong passion for child advocacy where she has represented children, pro bono, in truancy proceedings through the Truancy Intervention Project (TIP) and is an active TIP board member. She also serves in a leadership capacity over her church’s youth ministry. In addition, Adwoa is an active board member of the National Conference for Women’s Bar Associations and the Georgia State University College of Law Alumni Council. She has also served on the board of the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, Inc. and the Georgia Afterschool Investment Council.
Adwoa has been recognized by various organizations for her legal acumen, professionalism and service. In 2011, she was selected as a “Nations Best Advocates: Top 40 Under 40” by the National Bar Association and IMPACT. Since 2012, Adwoa has been selected as a “Rising Star” for inclusion in the Georgia Super Lawyers magazine, an honor that is given to no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state. In 2014, Adwoa was honored by the Atlanta Business Chronicle as a recipient of its “Women Who Mean Business” award. This award was given to Adwoa and 14 other women from various industries and professions who have made a difference in their communities, blazed a trail for others and are leaving an indelible mark on business in Atlanta.
Adwoa holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Diplomacy & Foreign Affairs from Miami University and received her Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Georgia State University College of Law. Adwoa balances her steadfast commitment to the legal profession and her community with her responsibilities of being a wife and mother. She is married to Rev. Stanley A. Seymour, Esq. They are the proud parents of two wonderful children.
Darrick L. McDuffie is an Associate in King & Spalding’s Business Litigation Practice Group, where his practice focuses primarily on complex commercial litigation involving the financial industry, securities actions, shareholder derivative actions, and shareholder disputes. Darrick is an active member of the legal community. He currently serves as the President-Elect of the Gate City Bar Association; and he is currently a member of the American Bar Association, the National Bar Association, and the Atlanta Bar Association. In several past years, Darrick has served on the Executive Board of Gate City as a Member-At-Large, and has served on the Gate City Bar Foundation Board, the non-profit arm of Gate City. Since 2007, Darrick has served as a Co-Chair of the Gate City Justice Robert Benham Law Camp, Gate City’s first institutional outreach program.
The Law Camp is designed to provide guidance and mentoring to local minority high school students and introduce them to career opportunities available in the legal profession, with the overall goal of increasing diversity in the legal field. In 2008, Darrick co-founded the Youth and the Law Summit, an institutional Gate City program conducted in partnership with Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School to introduce middle and high school students to the field of law; and, in each year since then, Darrick has served as a Co-Chair of the Youth and the Law Summit.
A committed advocate for disadvantaged individuals, Darrick has devoted countless hours to pro bono representation of clients in eviction cases; disputes involving unfair business practices; and prisoner’s rights cases, including state and federal habeas appeals. Darrick has been recognized for his outstanding legal skills and contributions to the practice of law in Georgia and nationally. Darrick was selected as a member of The 2007 Inaugural Class of Stakeholder 100. In 2013, Darrick was selected as a Top 40 Litigation Lawyer Under 40 in the State of Georgia by the American Society of Legal Advocates.
A native of Lake View, South Carolina, Darrick earned his bachelor of science in criminal justice, magna cum laude, from the University of South Carolina, where he was elected as a member of The Phi Beta Kappa Society and The Golden Key National Honor Society. Darrick earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he served as the Alumni Committee Chair of the Black Law Students Association in 2002/2003, and worked as a research assistant on a special project for Charles J. Ogletree, Jesse Climenko Professor of Law and Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice.
Darrick lives in Alpharetta, Georgia with his wife, Monekia, and has three children, Meyoshia, Shantyl, and Byron.
Attorney Carlos E. Moore, Managing Partner of Moore Law Group, PC, was born in Pascagoula, Mississippi and reared in Moss Point, Mississippi. After graduating from Moss Point High School as Salutatorian, he received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science in 1999 from the University of South Alabama and his Juris Doctorate from The Florida State University College of Law in 2002.
Licensed to practice in state and federal courts in Mississippi and Tennessee as well as before the United States Supreme Court, Attorney Moore is very active in several bar associations. He is a member of the Mississippi Bar, the Tennessee Bar, National Bar Association, American Bar Association, American Association for Justice, Magnolia Bar Association, Mississippi Association for Justice and Grenada County Bar Association. He is also a certified member of The Million Dollar Advocates Forum as well as president of the National Law Group and a Mississippi Bar Commissioner. Most recently, Moore was selected to be featured in the second edition of Who’s Who in Black Mississippi with other distinguished ladies and gentlemen from across Mississippi and is the current Chair of the Workers’ Compensation Section of The Mississippi Bar.
Jewel Quintyne is a third year law student at Emory School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia. Born and raised in New York, she graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2013, Magna Cum Laude, with a B.S. in Legal Studies. As a current student at Emory Law she is President of the Black Law Students Association and Student Ambassador with the Emory Law Office of Admission. Jewel currently interns with the Fulton County District Attorney Office and after law school she hopes to practice criminal law.
Sharece Thomas was born in Germany, spent 11 years in New York, and 14 years in Atlanta Georgia. She is of Jamaican and Trinidadian descent, and the second of five siblings. Sharece loves to sing, dance, rock climb, paint, write poetry, listen to Motown music, shop, cook and try new foods.
She is a 3rd year law student at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. She is the president of the John Marshall BLSA Chapter, and a GABWA Student Ambassador. Sharece worked at a small firm doing criminal, contracts, and bankruptcy law and externed as a Child Attorney, under the Third Year Practice Act. Currently she is volunteering as a Guardian Ad Litem for Fulton County’s Juvenile Court. Sharece serves at her home church, Grace Church International, where she is currently in the choir, and went on a mission’s trip to Rwanda which completely changed her life.
Prior to attending Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, Sharece attended Georgia State University and received her BA in Speech, concentrating in Public and Political Communication. Sharece has worked on several campaigns, and with a campaign firm. Sharece attended Druid Hills High School where she played Tennis, ran track, was on the step team, and was the Commanding Officer for her NJROTC Unit.
While Sharece has purposed to practice Business or Bankruptcy law, her passion is serving children and indigent Americans. Sharece has a passion for educating and empowering those who feel like they have been forgotten and that their rights are not being respected.
Sharece lives in the beautiful city of Buckhead, and is engaged to her best friend Donald Chapman.
Rod Hickman serves as the 2015-2016 National Director of Pre-law for National Black Law Students Association (“NBLSA”). In this role, he is the Director for the Pre-law division of NBLSA, a 501(c)(3) organization comprised of over 200 chapters and more than 6,000 members, overseeing all matters related to the Pre-law members.
Mr. Hickman is a native of Shuqualak, MS. He graduated from The University of Mississippi, where he earned Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and History. While at The University of Mississippi, Mr. Hickman served as a Lyceum Scholar, Student Ambassador and Public Relations Fellow.
He is currently a second-year law student at The University of Mississippi School of Law, where he is the Vice President of the Law School Student Body and Vice President of the Constance Slaughter-Harvey Black Law Students Association. He is also a member of the Mississippi Law Review, Deans Leadership Council, The Advocate Year Book Staff, American Constitutional Society, Public Interest Law Foundation and Phi Delta Phi. Prior to joining NBLSA’s national board, Mr. Hickman served as his local BLSA chapter treasurer and was awarded the chapter’s 1L scholarship as well as member of the year for the 2014-2015 term. Mr. Hickman was also one of the 8 recipients, selected by faculty, of the law school to receive the Top Lawyer award during the 2014-2015 school term.
In addition to his organizational leadership, he has worked and clerked for Glover & Young as well as the Moore Law Group.
Mr. Hickman is involved in his local church and national church organization. He is married and is the proud father of one amazing daughter.
Akil Bello is a supplemental education and test-preparation expert with more than two decades of experience. Beginning as a proctor with the Princeton Review in 1990, Akil has worked in every level of test preparation from proctor to CEO, he has helped launch two companies, developed dozens of preparation programs for more than ten different high-stakes tests, trained hundreds of instructors, and helped thousands of students achieve success.
Prior to returning to work for The Princeton Review, Akil was founding partner and CEO for Bell Curves, a test preparation company where he worked extensively to building community partnerships and programs. As an active member in his community, Akil routinely provides advice and workshops on test preparation and achieving educational success with limited resources. Some of the notable speaking engagements include the PhD Project Annual Conference, the Harlem Business Alliance 2013 Summit, Yale School of Management Explore Diversity Weekend, Graduate Management Admissions Council Annual Conference, KIPP Schools Summit, and National Partnership for Education Alliance Annual Conference.
Akil’s current role is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at The Princeton Review, where his focus is helping public schools, non-profit organizations, and community based organizations understand standardize tests and develop affordable solutions for their students. Akil holds a Bachelor’s of Architecture from Pratt Institute and resides in New York City with his beautiful wife and two amazing sons.
Ronald Stubblefield is a native of Washington, D.C. He graduated from Morehouse College, where he earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Physics. While at Morehouse, Mr. Stubblefield served as Chairman of the SGA Student Senate’s Constitution and Bylaws Committee and graduated as the Ranking Scholar in Physics. Mr. Stubblefield also has a Master’s of Science in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University. Specifically, he concentrated in financial engineering and decision analysis. While at Stanford, Mr. Stubblefield designed and helped implement financial models and strategic plans for a variety of colleges, financial institutions, political campaigns, and foreign governments.
He is currently a second-year student at the New York University School of Law, where he is a Jacobson Law and Business Fellow. He is also a member of the founding chapter of NBLSA and the NYU chapter of Young Democrats of America. Mr. Stubblefield currently serves as the National Treasurer of NBLSA and has served as the National Finance Chairman and Vice-Chair for the National Society of Black Engineers. He also helped organize and coordinate the legal and jail support team for Millions March NYC and was named the 2014-15 NEBLSA Activist of the Year and the 2014-15 National Black Law Student Association’s Oliver J. Hill Social Consciousness Award for his efforts.
In addition to his organizational leadership, Mr. Stubblefield has interned for Davis Polk, where he was recognized for his work in editing the 2015 edition of the swap treatise entitled OTC Derivatives Regulation Under Dodd-Frank: A Guide to Registration, Reporting, Business Conduct, and Clearing. Additionally, as a summer research assistant at the University of Chicago, he published a paper outlining an algorithm to diagnose breast cancer non-invasively, entitled, Content Based Image Retrieval: Nearest Neighbors Based on Euclidean and Manhattan Distances
He has also worked for General Electric, NEC China Laboratories, Bank of America, and Stanford Consulting.
In his free time, Ron enjoys running, basketball, cooking and playing the trumpet and drums.
Seth Fowler is a second-year law student at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. A native of Los Angeles, CA, he graduated cum laude from Morehouse College with B.A.s in Business Administration and Spanish. After college, Seth worked as an elementary school teacher before becoming involved in politics as a council aide for a Los Angeles City Councilman, where he collaborated with City departments to address constituent concerns including a broad range of municipal issues such as tree trimming, street and sidewalk repair and traffic decongestion. As a Field Representative for a CA State Assemblyman, Seth helped constituents garner Medicare, unemployment and disability benefits. Additionally, he helped develop resolutions to public policy issues such as prison overcrowding, police brutality and oil fracking.
Seth is a member of the Los Angeles Urban League Young Professionals and National Black Law Students Association. He hopes to take the tools garnered at Loyola Law School into the world of politics and public policy as a vocal consumer advocate. Seth is also a published author and illustrator, whose children’s book Cory the Popcorn’s Big Adventure is sold at Barnes and Noble and endorsed by director Spike Lee and signer Brandy Norwood.
Aaron N. Taylor joined the St. Louis University School of Law (SLU LAW) faculty in 2011, after a career as a higher education administrator. Professor Taylor’s primary teaching and research interests are in the areas of education law and legal ethics. In both realms, he seeks to contextualize the principal subject matter by considering larger political, economic, and sociological influences. Professor Taylor’s ultimate goals are to offer practical, interdisciplinary solutions to complicated problems, and to equip his students to do the same.
Professor Taylor’s scholarly articles have appeared in journals published by American University, Howard University, University of Notre Dame, and University of New Mexico. His commentaries have appeared in numerous publications, including the Chronicle of Higher Education and the South Florida Sun Sentinel. He is also a frequent media commentator on education and diversity issues.
Before joining SLU LAW, Professor Taylor served as associate dean for admissions and scholarships at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. At Bowen, he was the school’s first chief admissions officer, and successfully increased the median LSAT score, the number of students of color, and the applicant pool to their highest levels in the school’s history. He also co-directed the law school’s Pre-Law Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) Program, a pipeline initiative premised on fostering diversity within legal education and the profession. He joined Bowen from Harvard University, where he directed admissions for five master’s degree programs in the Graduate School of Education. Prior to that, he practiced ethics law in Washington, D.C.
In fall 2013, Professor Taylor began his tenure as director of the Law School Survey of Student Engagement, a national study that seeks to measure the effects of legal education on students. He takes over at LSSSE at a time when law schools are implementing various reforms, and the need for valid and reliable assessments is critical.
Professor Taylor’s professional affiliations are numerous. He has been very active with the Law School Admission Council, serving on its Finance and Legal Affairs Committee, its Annual Meeting and Educational Conference Planning Committee, and its Misconduct and Irregularities Subcommittee. He also served as chair of the Minority Network of Law School Admissions Professionals and on the executive council of the Young Lawyers Section of the Arkansas Bar. Professor Taylor is a member of the Florida Bar.
Professor Taylor received a bachelor of arts in political science from North Carolina A&T State University, a juris doctor from Howard University, and a doctorate in higher education leadership and policy from Vanderbilt University. He is also an alumnus of the Harvard University Administrative Fellowship
Tiffany Simmons serves as a Lecturer at American University and Howard University in Washington, D.C. She specializes in courses related to the areas of political science, criminal justice and criminology. She also volunteers as the Pre-Law Advisor at Bowie State University . She also works as a practicing attorney and handles matters pertaining to family law, education law and juvenile justice. In addition to her professional responsibilities, she volunteers with various local nonprofits and mentors local youth. Ms. Simmons received her B.A. in Political Science from Johnson C. Smith University and her Juris Doctorate from Texas Southern University.
Erica Edwards-O’Neal is the Director of Diversity and Inclusion and a Senior Career Counselor at Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center. She provides leadership and training on matters relating to valuing diversity, cultural competence, and the embedding of effective diversity and inclusion practices for the law school. Erica organizes pipeline programming with high school and college students, coordinates diversity internships and fellowships, and collaborates with affinity groups, the law school community and legal employers to promote diversity. She has also conducted a great deal of research on, provided training in and presented on cultural competence and diversity related matters across the country.
Prior to joining Touro Law, Erica served as the Director of a legislative advocacy coalition in Nassau County, where she developed and carried out advocacy strategies related to the Nassau County and New York State Budget process on behalf of Nassau’s youth, mental health, substance abuse and child care agencies and the people they serve. Additionally, as a Legal Mentor and Community Development Liaison with the Time Dollar Organization in Washington, D.C., she was instrumental in the establishment of the District’s first Youth Court Diversion Program. As an Americorp VISTA, she also advocated for housing rights legislation and established a New Home Ownership Program for low-moderate income families.
Erica is a member of the Amistad Long Island Black Bar Association, National Association of Law Placement Professionals, Suffolk County Women’s Bar, The National Coalition of Black Women, New York City Bar’s Committee on Recruitment and Retention of Lawyers, The Metropolitan Black Bar Association, The National Bar Association and is a newly appointment member of both the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion and the New York City Bar Association’s Diversity Pipeline Initiatives Committee. She has also served on the Boards of several organizations, including Girls Inc., Urban League/Dowling College GEARUP College Preparatory Program, and Suffolk County Community Council.
Erica received her Bachelor of Arts in Government and Politics from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA and her Juris Doctor from Touro Law Center.
Marsha Ross-Jackson is an experienced leader, attorney, educator and consultant. With over 20 years of professional experience in a variety of roles, industries and sectors, Marsha’s breadth of knowledge and experience enable her to add value to any organization. Marsha’s expertise in managing operations, finance, communications, employee and labor relations, investigations, compliance, human resources, and law in diverse, large multi-state offices, has helped her to become well-versed in cross-cultural communication and leadership, as well as extremely effective in directing across interdisciplinary settings. Marsha has served as an HR/legal business partner and advisor to senior leaders, boards of directors and operational leaders. She has also represented multi-billion dollar clients in insurance, employment and commercial litigation matters. Marsha is an Arbitrator; a member of the American Arbitration Association’s Roster of Neutrals – Employment Law Panel.
Marsha has a BA in Biology, a Masters in Public Administration, and a Juris Doctor with honors from DePaul University College of Law. She is currently the Executive Director of the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law Institute for Law and the Workplace. Marsha is also an Adjunct Professor in Chicago-Kent’s Labor and Employment Law Certificate Program and the Assistant Dean of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Multicultural Affairs and Professional Development.
Prior to joining Chicago-Kent, Marsha led labor and employee relations for the Cook County Health and Hospitals System, which included negotiating, interpreting and administering 24 different collective bargaining agreements, as well as ongoing labor-management relations with 16 different labor unions. She was also responsible for workplace investigations and EEO compliance. Marsha spent several years as the Director of Workforce Engagement for Health Care Service Corporation, directing labor and employee relations and employee engagement activities for 17,000 employees across 4 states. As the Deputy Director of Field Operations for the Illinois Department of Employment Security, Marsha had oversight for the agency’s labor and employee relations. Additionally, Marsha spent several months as the Interim Executive Director of the Asian Health Coalition of Illinois. Over the past 9 years, Marsha has worked as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Phoenix and The Morris Graduate School of Business, teaching courses in employment law, business law, ethics, communication, organizational and group behavior, HR management, and managing diverse organizations.
Marsha consults with company leaders regarding labor and employee relations matters, workplace investigations, employee engagement, leadership development, and organizational change strategies. Marsha has also developed and delivered several workplace training modules, including but not limited to: Anti-Discrimination/Harassment, FMLA/ADA/ADAAA, Discipline and Documentation, Performance Management, Building a Culture of Inclusion, Leading Change, Effective Decision-Making, Employee Engagement, and Personal Accountability.
Paula T. Edgar Esq. is Principal of PGE, LLC – a boutique coaching, speaking and consulting firm. The firm provides innovative and strategic solutions on career management, executive/leadership development, organizational diversity efforts, intercultural competence initiatives, networking and social media strategy.
Her professional experiences include serving as the inaugural Chief Diversity Officer at New York Law School, the Associate Director of Career Services and member of the Diversity Council at Seton Hall University School of Law, and as the Executive Director of Practicing Attorneys for Law Students Program, Inc. (PALS), a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing diversity in the legal profession and providing mentoring, academic support, and networking opportunities to law students and junior attorneys of color. Prior to working at PALS, Paula practiced in the Law Enforcement Division of the New York City Commission on Human Rights.
For more than a decade, Paula has demonstrated leadership in the areas of diversity and inclusion, issues related to students of color and the legal diversity pipeline. Currently active with a number of organizations and social justice initiatives, she serves as the President-Elect of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, the immediate past Chair of the New York City Bar Association’s Diversity Pipeline Initiatives Committee and as a 2015 Council of Urban Professionals (CUP) Fellow.
Paula received her B.A. in Anthropology from the California State University (Fullerton) and her J.D. from the City University of New York School of Law. She has also been recognized by The Network Journal Magazine as a “40 Under Forty” Achievement Awardee, and as a Ms. JD “Woman of Inspiration” Connect with Paula on her website www.paulaedgar.com, on Linkedin, Via Twitter and on Facebook.
All guests should make their reservations directly with the hotel at the toll-free number 1-966-834-7515 by September 3, 2015. Guests must identify themselves as a part of the National HBCU Pre-Law Summit.
The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta
210 Peachtree St. NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
The Ellis Hotel
176 Peachtree Street NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Atlanta Downtown
111 Cone Street NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
Hampton Inn & Suites Atlanta- Downtown
161 Spring Street NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
Double Tree by Hilton Hotel Atlanta Downtown
160 Spring Street NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
MOST AFFORDABLE OPTION
Quality Hotel Downtown
89 Luckie Street NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
OPTIONAL: Tours and Law School Classes at Atlanta Area Law Schools Including Georgia State University School of Law, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, and Emory University School of Law
|9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
9:00 AM – 9:30 AM
9:30 AM – 10:00 AM
10:00 AM – 10:30
10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
|Meet with Admissions Office, Law School Tour and Classroom Visit at Emory University School of Law
Breakfast & chat with Dean Robert Schapiro, Dean of Emory Law School
Admissions presentation with Dean Ethan Rosenzweig, Dean of Admission & Financial Aid
Tour of Emory Law with an Admissions Fellow
Sample Law School Class with Vice-Dean/Professor Robert Ahdieh
|Emory University School of Law|
|12:00 PM – 1:30 PM||*** Break for Lunch***||On Your Own|
|1:30 PM – 4:00 PM||Meet with Admissions Staff, Law School Tour and Classroom Visit at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School||Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School|
|11:00 AM – 12:00 PM (NOON)||Tour of Georgia State University College of Law||Georgia State University College of Law Conference Center|
|12:00 PM – 4:00 PM (NOON)||Registration||Georgia State University College of Law Conference Center|
|1:00 PM – 2:45 PM||Welcoming Ceremony/Opening Keynote Session
Representative from the City of Atlanta (Invited)
Representative from the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (Invited)
Adwoa Seymour, Esq., President, Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys and Partner, Bryan Cave LLP(Atlanta, Georgia)
Darrick McDuffie, Esq., President, Gate City Bar Association and Associate, King & Spaulding LLP (Atlanta, Georgia)
Joseph K. West, Esq., President & CEO, Minority Corporate Counsel
Association (Washington, DC) (Graduate of Southern University)
|Georgia State University College of Law Conference Center|
|3:00 PM – 4:45 PM||
Law School Admissions Panel/ Paying for Law School and Managing Student Loan Debt Panel
Georgia State University College of Law Conference Center
|4:45 PM – 5:00 PM||Refreshment Break||
Georgia State University College of Law Conference Center
|5:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M.|| Evening Keynote Session
Marilyn Mosby, Esq., State’s Attorney for Baltimore City (Baltimore, Maryland) (Graduate of Tuskegee University)
Georgia State University College of Law Conference Center
|6:00 PM – 8:00 PM||
Law School & Resources Expo and Networking Reception
Meet with Representatives from Law Schools Across the Country.
Food will be provided
|Georgia State University College of Law Conference Center|
|10:00 AM – 3:00 PM||Registration
Continental Breakfast Provided.
|Georgia State University College of Law Conference Center|
|10:30 AM – 11:30 AM||Opening Keynote Session
Representative from National Bar Association (Invited)
Rod Hickman, Director of the Pre-Law Division, National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA)
Paulette Brown, Esq., President, American Bar Association and Partner and Chief Diversity Officer, Locke Lord LLP (Morristown, New Jersey) (Graduate of Howard University)
Georgia State University College of Law Conference Center
|11:45 AM – 1:15 PM||
HBCU Law School Deans Panel
Katherine S. Broderick, Professor of Law and Dean, University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law (Washington, DC)
Phyliss Craig-Taylor, Professor of Law and Dean, North Carolina Central University School of Law (Durham, North Carolina)
Danielle Holley-Walker, Esq., Professor of Law and Dean, Howard University School of Law (Washington, DC)
Dannye Holley, Esq., Professor of Law and Dean, Thurgood Marshall School of Law Texas Southern University (Houston, Texas)
Darryll K. Jones, Esq., Professor of Law and Interim Dean, Florida A&M University School of Law (Orlando, Florida)
John K. Pierre, Esq., Professor of Law and Interim Chancellor, Southern University Law Center (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
Georgia State University College of Law Conference Center
|1:15 PM – 2:00 PM||***Break for Lunch***||
On Your Own
|2:00 PM – 3:15 PM||The Law School Experience: Perspectives from HBCU Law Students and HBCU Grads at PWI Law Schools||
Georgia State University College of Law Conference Center
|3:25 PM – 4:45 PM||The HBCU Graduate Lawyer Speaks: The Truth About Finding a Job, Creating Your Own Opportunities and Working As a Lawyer Today
Panel Featuring HBCU Graduates With Law Degrees Working in a Variety of Legal Areas and Careers
Georgia State University College of Law Conference Center
|4:55 PM – 5:55 PM||How to Crush the Law School Admission Test (LSAT): Success Strategies Workshop||Georgia State University College of Law Conference Center|
|6:00 PM – 7:30 PM||
Evening Keynote Session
Hon. Arthur Burnett, Sr. , Retired Senior Judge, Superior Court of the District of Columbia and National Executive Director, National African American Drug Policy Coalition (Washington, DC)
John Crump, Esq., Executive Director Emeritus and Historian, National Bar Association (Suitland, Maryland/Washington, DC)
|Georgia State University College of Law Conference Center|
|7:30 P.M. – 10:00 P.M.||Law School & Resources Expo and Networking Reception
Food will be provided.
|Georgia State University College of Law Conference Center|
We will participate in a formal Atlanta Black History tour where we visit places of interest and significance to African Americans, and dine at Paschal’s, a historically significant, local Black-owned restaurant for lunch.
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS
National HBCU Pre-Law Summit
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