The fifth annual National HBCU Pre-Law Summit & Law Expo 2018, sponsored by AccessLex Institute, is scheduled Friday and Saturday at the Emory University School of Law.

The summit is the only major national outreach event of its kind in the entire country focused on empowering and supporting students and alumni of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) interested in pursuing the rigorous, demanding and obstacle-laden path of going to law school and becoming lawyers.

“Our goal is that every attendee leave not just with critical information and resources, but, just as importantly, with a circle of support—peer accountability partners, and law student and lawyer contacts that they can start to build relationships with after the event to support them and help them navigate this challenging road ahead,” explained Attorney Evangeline Mitchell, the summit’s founder. “We will stress and constantly reiterate the importance of being excellent, competitive and strategic applicants, but at the same time, working on building meaningful relationships as an equally important key to success.”

According to recent Law School Admission Council statistics, nearly 50 percent of African American law school applicants don’t get into any law school that they apply to. This event is determined to be one of those efforts created to help change that, Mitchell said.

Students and graduates from HBCUs around the country have been invited to converge on Emory University’s campus to take part in two intensive days of speeches, workshops, panels, and networking activities.

Mitchell, who is also a graduate of an HBCU, said the summit stands apart because “it is the only one that provides all of the critical information that you would expect, but also openly addresses the unique issues and additional challenges that HBCU graduates choosing to attend PWI law schools face.”

“Attendees will be exposed to game-changing information, resources, and connections that they otherwise may not have access to,” Mitchell said. “What they gain during this summit weekend is invaluable. If acted upon, it can absolutely make the difference between acceptance and rejection into law school – and future success beyond.”

More than 100 lawyers, law students, and law school administrators will participate in the summit in various capacities with the singular and collective purpose of helping to empower and support students and graduates in their quest to becoming lawyers.

One of the highlights of the summit is that it provides inspirational keynote sessions featuring several prominent and dynamic speakers. This year’s keynote speakers include:

  • Joy White, Esq., Vice President, General Counsel, and Chief Compliance Officer, Morehouse College (Atlanta, Georgia);
  • Xavier Donaldson, Esq., Partner, Donaldson & Chilliest LLP (New York, New York);
  • Adria Kimbrough, Esq., Pre-Law Advisor, Center for Law and Public Interest, Dillard University (New Orleans, Louisiana)
  • Reginald McGahee, J.D., Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Admissions, Howard University School of Law (Washington, DC);
  • Mishonda Mosley, Esq., M.Div., D.Min., LL.M., Judge Advocate General’s Corps Officer, United States Navy (Fernandina Beach, Florida);
  • Dr. Aaron N. Taylor, Esq., Executive Director, AccessLex Center for Legal Education Excellence (Washington, DC); and,
  • Marcus Sandifer, Esq., Associate, Alston & Bird LLP (New York, New York)

All are graduates of historically Black colleges and universities.

In addition to the opportunity to hear from outstanding keynote speakers, there will be a number of special guest speakers, and Black lawyer and law student organizational leaders. Moreover, there will be an illuminating conversation featuring HBCU law school deans.

Confirmed panelists include

  • Danielle Holley-Walker, Esq., Dean and Professor of Law, Howard University School of Law;
  • John C. Brittain, Esq., Acting Dean and Professor of Law, the University of the District of Columbia;
  • David A. Clarke School of Law, LeRoy Pernell, Esq., Interim Dean and Professor of Law, Florida A&M University College of Law; and,
  • Roederick White, Sr., Esq., Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, Southern University Law Center

This special panel will be moderated by Dr. Jamal Watson, the Executive Editor of Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.


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