The 19th Annual National Black Pre-Law Conference and Law Fair 2023
The National Black Pre-Law Conference and Law Fair, the nation’s premier information-sharing and networking empowerment event for aspiring Black lawyers, is back for its 19th annual event at the Gutman Conference Center at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This power-packed, three-day conference takes place from Thursday, November 16th, 2023 to Saturday, November 18th, 2023 and is completely free of charge and open to all.
The conference brings together experienced law school administrators, current law students, influential leaders and powerhouse Black lawyers to share their experiences, insights, and knowledge with the common goal of encouraging, supporting and empowering African Americans interested in becoming lawyers. The conference offers attendees the opportunity to participate in informative workshops, thought-provoking panel discussions, motivating keynote sessions, a mock law class, film screenings, a one-on-one pre-law advisement and practical assistance clinic, Boston law school tours, historical tours, structured and informal networking opportunities, a Law School Recruitment Fair with over 100 law schools and law-related non-profit organizations, and much more.
Key information will be shared about what prospective Black law students should understand about the recent Supreme Court decision striking down race-conscious affirmative action and how they should approach the highly competitive admission process moving forward. There will also be sessions on paying for law school, writing a compelling personal statement and diversity statement, navigating the application process, understanding legal research, writing and advocacy, paths to the judiciary, succeeding in law school, overcoming the additional challenges that Black people face in law school, passing the bar exam, and realizing success as a Black lawyer.
Several dynamic, nationally-known and well-respected attorneys will serve as featured keynote speakers, and share powerful words of wisdom, encouragement, and stories of their own personal journeys to and through law school and in the profession. This year’s extraordinary lineup includes Nicole Austin-Hillery, Esq., President & CEO, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (Washington, DC); Tracey West, Esq., Executive Director, Boston Lawyers Group (Boston, Massachusetts); Dominique D. Calhoun, Esq., M.B.A. President, National Bar Association (Houston, Texas); Damon Hart, Esq., Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer & Secretary, Liberty Mutual Insurance (Boston, Massachusetts); Rawle Andrews Jr., Esq., APA Foundation, American Psychiatric Association (Washington, DC); Monica Monroe, Esq., Assistant Dean for Community Engagement, Equity, and Belonging, Harvard Law School (Cambridge, Massachusetts); Renee Nicole Allen, Esq., M.S., Associate Professor of Legal Writing and Faculty Director, Center for Race and Law, St. John’s University School of Law (New York, New York); Angela Gomes, Esq., Partner, Sullivan & Worcester LLP (Boston, Massachusetts); Bryan Fair, Esq., Thomas E. Skinner Professor of Law, University of Alabama School of Law (Tuscaloosa, Alabama); and Jonathan Allen, J.D., M.T.S., Co-Founder and Director of Development, Leadership Brainery, Inc. (Boston, Massachusetts).
Special guest speakers, who are all influential and visionary leaders, will also address prospective law students including: Phillip C. Hamilton, Esq., Managing Partner, Hamilton Clarke, LLP and Adjunct Professor, Cardozo School of Law (New York, New York); Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Esq., M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D., Dean and Ryan Roth Gallo Professor of Law, Boston University School of Law (Boston, Massachusetts); Ronald Sullivan Jr., Esq., Jesse Climenko Clinical Professor of Law and Director, Criminal Justice Institute, Harvard Law School (Cambridge, Massachusetts); Stephen L. Ball, Esq., Dean of Students, Harvard Law School (Cambridge, Massachusetts); Roeshana Moore-Evans, M.B.A., Executive Director, Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery Initiative (Cambridge, Massachusetts) and David Harris, Ph.D., Managing Director Emeritus, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, Harvard Law School (Medford, Massachusetts).
New this year is the inclusion of the Future Legal Eagles Flight School: National Pre-Law Summit for Black Youth and Parents, a special event for middle school and high school students. This event includes a special session for young people and their parents entitled It’s Not Too Early to Start Preparing for Law School Today. That session provides information about programs that currently exist across the country for younger people interested in exploring a career in law and the types of skills students should begin building followed by a Q&A session and resources to assist parents in supporting their children. Speakers include Antonette N. Smith, Executive Director, Just the Beginning Foundation (Chicago, Illinois), Gregory Saint-Dick, M.S., Author of Negotiating Your College Success: The Guide for First Gen Students of Color (Boston, Massachusetts), and John Crump, J.D., C.M.P., C.A.E., Founder, National Bar Association’s Crump Law Camp and the National Bar Association Executive Director Emeritus (Suitland, Maryland). Additionally, students will have the opportunity to learn about “How to Become a Judge” from The Honorable Dedra Davis, District Judge, 270th Civil District Court, State of Texas (Houston, Texas).
Further, there will be an exclusive panel discussion featuring several of the lawyer contributing authors of the groundbreaking compilation book Lessons from Successful African American Lawyers: Practical Wisdom for those on the Path to Lawyerhood. They will share their greatest lessons for the next generation of aspiring Black lawyers and answer audience questions. This will be followed by a book signing and some book giveaways.
The conference will end on a high note with the Aspiring Lawyers Pinning Ceremony where current lawyers will pin aspiring lawyers with eagle pins as a sign of support to express the community’s faith, high expectations and confidence in them and to stress to them the fact that more Black lawyers are needed and that they have a responsibility to give back and help others become lawyers too once they achieve their goals.
This is a powerful, can’t miss event. What sets it apart is its emphasis on providing a warm and affirming environment and treating attendees like family members. This conference has positively impacted the lives of thousands of prospective law students for nearly two decades. Seating is limited so those interested in attending are encouraged to reserve their seats today. Everyone is welcome.
Further information on the National Black Pre-Law Conference can be found at the official conference website at https://www.blackprelawconference.org. More details about the Future Legal Eagles Flight School can be found at https://www.futurelegaleaglesflightschool.org.