As a former chair of the National Black Law Students Association and former chair of the Southwest Black Law Student Association, Anthony Collier has partnered with the University of Houston Law Center’s Pre-Law Pipeline Program to diversify the legal profession.
Collier, who attended the University of Texas School of Law, participated in two tracks offered by the Pre-Law Pipeline Program. Through Collier’s work, the NBLSA will provide three scholarships to aspiring law students. “The National Black Law Students Association’s mission is to increase the number of culturally responsible Black and minority attorneys who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community,”
Collier said. “To increase the number of Black attorneys, we must first increase the number of Black law students. We’re proud to partner with the UHLC Pre- Law Pipeline Programs because we know that this program will equip pre-law students with the necessary tools to gain admittance into law school, excel while there, and graduate and become successful attorneys.”
Collier completed his undergraduate education at Texas Southern University. It was not until attending a panel discussion at the neighboring University of Houston that he seriously considered attending law school. He said he was particularly struck by the remarks of Dr. Elwyn Lee, Vice President for Community Relations and Institutional Access at UH.
“Growing up I didn’t know any lawyers,” Collier said. “I’m a first-generation college student. One of the first lawyers I ever met was Dr. Elwyn Lee.
“I really appreciated what he had to say on the panel. After the panel discussion, I walked up and introduced myself. Based off that conversation he told me I should consider going to law school and that the University of Houston had a new Pre-Law Pipeline Program and that I should apply.
“I applied and got accepted into the program and I did well. I did it and that’s when I started to think that maybe law school could be a feasible option.”
For Collier, participating in the Pipeline Programs changed his thought process from attending law school to being successful in law school. As part of the Scholar II track, he received the top trial advocacy award during a mock trial competition and also recorded the highest LSAT diagnostic score.
“I loved it,” Collier said. “I’m a people person. Having the chance to meet students from across the nation was a unique experience within itself. Even if I didn’t decide to go to law school, I’m still friends with some of the people from both tracks – Scholar I and Scholar II.
“The Scholar I track was particularly impressive because in addition to LSAT prep you get placement with a legal job. When I came back for the second track, it was very rigorous, but I saw my LSAT score jump about 10 points, and I know that’s part of the reason why I received a scholarship at Texas Law. It was hard work, but it was worth it.”
He worked as a policy analyst in the Texas Senate and gained experience with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, seeking more educational opportunities and health benefits for people who are incarcerated.
“It’s been an incredible experience meeting tons of people every day and expanding my network. In our profession our network is so important. I’m thankful for that and the opportunity to learn and to be able to help so many people in need.”
After graduating from the University of Texas School of Law, Collier became General Counsel to the Dean of the Texas Senate and General Counsel to the Texas Senate Committee on Criminal Justice.
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