December 15, 2006
Priming the pipeline for law students of color
On Nov. 3, over 60 students from 13 different undergraduate colleges and universities attended The John Mercer Langston Bar Association’s First Annual African-American Conference for Aspiring Attorneys. The Columbus Bar’s Managing Partners Diversity Initiative was the presenting sponsor of this inaugural event.
The mission of this conference was to increase the number of African-American lawyers in Central Ohio. By encouraging African-American undergraduate students to attend law school, the conference provided students with the resources necessary to effectively prepare for admission into and eventual successful completion of law school.
The conference opened with an introduction from emcee Kim Shumate, past president of the Columbus Bar, who welcomed the students and gave them an overview of the day’s activities. Judge James Green inspired the students by giving a biographical sketch of his path towards becoming a judge and explained that hard work and determination will lead to successful legal careers. Other speakers discussed different career paths within the legal profession.
Kim Keenan, a litigation attorney practicing in Washington, D.C., and the past president of the National Bar Association served as the keynote speaker during the luncheon. Her candid message about remaining ethical while as a law student and in practice was a highlight of the conference. Speakers also presented on resume writing techniques and image enhancement. Both undergraduate and law school professions talked with the students about academic preparation for law school and preparation for the LSAT examination. A reception with members from the local bar concluded the conference.