By Evangeline Mitchell • March 11, 2015•Law School, Pre-Law, Choosing a Career and Landing a Job, Other Law School Issues, Issues, Mentoring and Networking
The legal profession is considered the least diverse among the top-paying professions such as medicine, dentistry, accounting and management. The Second Annual National Diversity Pre-Law Conference and Law Fair is another important effort created to help change this through reaching out directly to diverse aspiring lawyers from all over the country. The event’s goal is to help future diverse lawyers achieve success in the challenging path ahead by providing early critical insider information through speeches, panels and workshops, game-changing resources, and priceless networking opportunities.
The Nation’s Capital will serve as the host city to this groundbreaking conference. It will be held from Friday, April 10, 2015 to Saturday, April 11, 2015 at the Washington Court Hotel on Capitol Hill in downtown Washington, DC.
This year's lineup of dynamic keynote speakers includes Sandra S. Yamate, Esq., CEO of the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession, Cynthia D. Mares, Esq., President of the Hispanic National Bar Association, Philip Lee, Esq., Ed.D., Assistant Professor of Law at the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law, Arun Alagappan, Esq., President of Advantage Testing Foundation, and Catherine E. Smith, Esq., Professor of Law and Associate Dean of Institutional Diversity and Inclusiveness at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Special guests include George Chen, Esq., President of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, John Crump, JD, Executive Director Emeritus of the National Bar Association, Derecka Purnell, First-Year Harvard Law Student and Political Organizer in Ferguson, Missouri, Ricky Anderson, Esq., Philanthropist and Managing Partner of the Law Firm of Anderson & Smith, P.C., and Shirley Jefferson, Esq., Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Diversity at Vermont Law School and participant in the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March for Voting Rights. There will also be a few surprise guests.
Conference sessions will address the importance of prior preparation and participation in pre-law diversity programs and initiatives, the role of diversity in the law school admissions process and how diverse applicants can make their diversity work for them, tips on writing effective personal and diversity statements, the value and cost of a legal education, the realities of student loan debt on lifestyle and career choice and the importance of financial planning, and what it really takes to compete and succeed academically and in co-curricular activities in law school.
Even more, current law students, lawyers and law school diversity professionals will explain the educational benefits of diversity in law schools, and directly discuss the very real issues and concerns surrounding diversity commonly found in law school environments. They will directly address those added challenges that diverse law students must be prepared to face and give them concrete strategies to overcome those obstacles. They will encourage participants to appreciate the diversity they bring and the diversity they encounter, and to do their part to really help make diversity work. Attendees will be inspired to be positive contributors to their law schools inside and outside of the classroom, to boldly take on leadership roles in promoting diversity and inclusion in their law schools, and to take the initiative to create alliances with other diverse student groups. Special diversity leadership workshops will cover cultural competence, cross-cultural collaborations and law school leadership.
Moreover, knowledgeable lawyers will discuss the realities of the current legal job market, what legal employers are looking for, and what pre-law students can begin to do now and will need to do moving forward to be considered competitive job candidates. They will teach attendees the dos and don'ts of writing cover letters and resumes, how to nail a job interview and earn their first legal job, and the importance of their personal brands. They will also share what is required to be viewed as valuable and indispensable lawyers, how to strategically plan their legal careers and advance in the legal profession, how one can create their own opportunities, and ways they can contribute to advancing diversity once they become members of the bar.
Another cornerstone of this conference is stressing the importance of social responsibility and service so that attendees can better understand the great imperative of giving back to one’s communities and those coming behind them. All registrants will have the opportunity to participate in community service projects to benefit young people in the DC area. What's more, attendees will be given information on ways that they can utilize their legal training for good, and contribute to the ongoing fight for social justice prior to law school, while in law school, and once they become lawyers through their jobs and pro bono volunteer work, and community service.
On top of that, the conference will feature a law school recruitment and diversity resources fair so pre-law students can obtain information on a variety of law schools, as well as programs, services and organizations that can assist them along their journeys to becoming lawyers. There will also be special giveaways for LSAT study materials and opportunities to receive one-on-one assistance with resumes and diversity statements. Attendees will also have the chance to win an LSAT course and coaching sessions.
Additionally, taking advantage of the incredible resources in Washington, DC, registrants will be able to visit the actual places where laws are passed and major landmark judicial decisions are made through planned group visits to both the United States Capitol building and the Supreme Court of the United States. Those important landmarks are just a short walk away from the conference venue.
Finally, there will be structured networking activities that will purposely facilitate attendees’ meeting and making meaningful connections with other aspiring lawyers, current law students, and lawyers. All attendees will be assigned to small groups led by law students and attorneys who will serve as networking facilitators and group leaders to answer their questions and encourage their making connections with one another to form possible study groups and accountability partnerships. Also, all attendees will be invited to informal social events after the scheduled sessions.
This monumental conference stands apart from other pre-law events because it was designed specifically for diverse prospective law students. Further, attendees will not only learn invaluable information about what is required to be strong law school applicants, law students and lawyers, but also leaders and change agents in a profession that truly needs greater meaningful diversity in an increasingly diverse society and interconnected world. This conference promises to be an intense, life-changing weekend that will have a lasting impact not only on attendees, but ultimately on the future of diversity in legal education and the legal profession.
Most importantly, this power-packed, world-class event is offered completely free of charge and is open to absolutely everyone including diverse aspiring lawyers, parents and supporters, law students, law graduates, lawyers, law school administrators, law professors, pre-law/career advisors, and multicultural/diversity administrators and others interested in law school and diversity issues.
Limited space is available so those interested in attending are encouraged to register early to reserve their spots. Further information can be found at the official conference website athttp://www.diversityprelawconference.org. You may also call 281-944-LAW4 or send an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.