2005 Founders' Celebration Events

9th Sylvania Woods Conference on African Americans and the Law

April 2, 2005
10:00am - 5:00 p.m.
Rooms 602 and 603


Program Brochure

The Sylvania Woods Conference on African Americans and the Law honors the memory of the late Prince George's County jurist, one of the first black graduates of the Washington College of Law. The ninth annual conference explored both traditional and non-traditional paths to success in the legal profession.

Keynote Speakers

  • "Direct yourself to greatness. Answer your calls. Answer to yourself."
                                   - Warren Brown

    "Goal is not beat yourself up. It's to let yourself out."
                                   - Warren Brown
    Warren Brown
    Warren Brown is a former attorney who left the practice to pursue a career in something he loved. He believes that "Passion is commitment without condition." As founder and owner of D.C. based CakeLove and Love Caf´┐Ż since 2001, Mr. Brown lives by these words in bringing fresh, natural food with particular emphasis on delightfully decadent desserts to a rapidly growing and enthusiastic clientele.

  • "We exist temporarily by what we take -- we live forever by what we give."
    - Thompson quoting Vernon Jordan
    Craig Thompson
    Craig Thompson is an associate with the law offices of Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos. He is a highly sought after motivational speaker; host of a weekly radio show entitled "The Front Page"; and author of three published works, including The ABCs of Black History: A Children's Guide.

  • "Life is composed of taking a million tiny steps. The big steps are great when you can take them, but the tiny steps are safe and will get you there."
                                    - William Martin
    William "Billy" Martin
    Billy Martin is a seasoned trial lawyer and legal counselor with more than 25 years' experience. Before entering private practice, he had an extensive public service career that included local prosecutorial work and senior positions with the Justice Department and the office of the U.S. Attorney for D.C. Mr. Martin also maintains an active sports and entertainment practice. William Martin is a partner with the firm Blank Rome LL.P.

Award Recipients

  • "Extraordinary things do come from the ordinary."
                            - Rhonda VanLowe
    2005 North Star Award Recipient: Rhonda VanLowe
    Rhonda VanLowe is legal counsel for Rolls-Royce, North America, Inc., where she oversees the U.S. Treasury and Sales Finance Groups. Ms. VanLowe is well known to the law school community through her work as director of the Legal Analysis Study Group (LASG).

  • 2005 Hairston Alumni Award: Capt. Jamie Boston (WCL 2000)
    The following is a quote from Capt. Boston's e-mail accepting the award while stationed in Iraq.

      "My journey has taken me to great places and I have met great people like the President of Iraq, but all of this would not have been possible without the training of
      "I am honored and deeply humbled to receive this prestigious award - especially to be selected by my peers . . . It is indeed gratifying to be among the many students in this community of color at WCL who are achieving at the highest levels in both their academic and professional lives."
                                  - Alex Johnson
      WCL and the great community that helped to shape me over my law school experience and beyond. I thank God for my family, friends and the legal training which I have received from WCL."

  • Rising Star Award: Alex Johnson
    Alex Johnson, the 3L Rising Star Award winner, thanked the law school for exposing him to great people and opportunities. He'll be joining the Bronx DA's office in fall of 2005.