Dec. 1, 2020 — Aspiring attorneys from around the country learned about the legal profession, law school application process, financial aid, joint degree programs, and professionalism in the legal industry among other topics at the recent 2020 Diversity Pre-Law Symposium & Law School Admissions Fair.
The two-day event was hosted by the award-wining Pre-Law Pipeline Program at the University of Houston Law Center, the Hurricane Maria Assistance Relief and Institution Alliance, and the Rising Scholars of Justice Program at John J. College of Criminal Justice. Sponsors included the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Office of Research, NBLSA, SouthWest Water Company, LSAT Max, The Princeton Review, Magoosh, and Jackson Walker LLP.
Keynote speakers included Jonathan Beane, Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer for the NFL, and Jamila Brinson, a partner at Jackson Walker LLP. In his remarks, Beane discussed his career journey and the challenges and highlights of it along the way.
“The process of one’s career journey is a unique one, and each of you are going to have your own,” Beane said. “I know you have the grit to do it.”
Brinson, a 2010 graduate of the UH Law Center, encouraged attendees to set measurable goals and persevere through hard work, resilience, passion and to celebrate small achievements along the way.
“At 14 years of age, I learned the single most important lesson of my entire life: I could identify a goal; I could work doggedly at it; and I could achieve it despite the odds and despite the naysayers,” Brinson said.
The first day of the event began with introductory remarks from Law Center Dean Leonard M. Baynes. He was followed by Hon. Sallie Manzanet-Daniels, an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the State of New York.
The first panel discussion, “Reviewing the Law School Application from the Perspective of Admissions Officers” was co-moderated by Adria Kimbrough, an Assistant Professor and Pre-Law Advisor at Dillard University and Mykal Peterson, a current student at the Law Center.
The second discussion, “Professionalism in the Law” was moderated by Law Center Assistant Dean for Career Development Tiffany Tucker.
The panelists were:
The second day of the event began with the panel discussion, “Versatility of a Law Degree.” Dr. Bridgette Baldwin, a Professor of Law at the Western New England University School of Law, served as moderator.
The following panel discussion, “Law School 101” was moderated by Natalia Marte, a student at the University of Buffalo School of Law.
Closing statements were delivered by Justice Francois Rivera of the Kings County Supreme Court in New York who emphasized inner belief and the will to act on it.
In addition to the Law Center, more than 40 other law schools across the state and country participated in the Law School Admissions Fair, which concluded both days of the event.