Women of Color and the Law: Gaining Access, Achieving Success

A two-day, interactive conference addressing challenges faced by women of color in the legal profession

March 29-30, 2012

Presented by American University Washington College of Law's Office of Diversity Services, this two-day interactive conference addresses challenges faced by women of color in gaining greater access to legal education, employment, and services. By bringing together prospective and currently-enrolled law students with jurists, practitioners, legal scholars, and providers and recipients of legal services, the conference will serve as a forum for participants to share experiences, offer counsel, foster mentorships, and honor pathfinders who are enabling greater access to success in the legal profession for women of color. Veryl Miles, dean of The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law will be the keynote speaker.

Register for the Women of Color and the Law Conference.

Keynote Speaker: Veryl Miles

Dean, The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law

Veryl Victoria Miles, dean and professor of law, is a graduate of Wells College in Aurora, New York and a law graduate of The Catholic University of America. She teaches consumer bankruptcy and several courses in commercial law. Much of her scholarship has been devoted to the subject of consumer bankruptcy law. She has taught at Columbus School of Law since 1987. During the years of 1997 through 1999, Professor Miles served as the associate dean of Academic Affairs at the law school. Prior to joining the faculty at CUA, Dean Miles was on the law faculty at George Mason University School of Law. She has also taught in the summer school program at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri, and served as an adjunct professor at the American University Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C.

Preliminary Program

Thursday, March 29

2 - 8 p.m. - Access to Legal Education

(By invitation for prelaw and admissions professionals.)

Friday, March 30

8 - 9 a.m. - Registration & Continental Breakfast

9:15 - 10:30 a.m. - Access to Legal Employment

A roundtable conversation among women from various areas of legal practice and the audience.

Topics: mentoring, managing, marriage, and more

Roundtable members include:

  • Marianela Peralta, Hilton Worldwide and Member, D.C. Bar Board of Governors
  • Monica Parham, counsel, Crowell & Moring
  • Deepa Iyer, executive director, South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)
  • Jennifer Thomas, legal recruiting coordinator, Public Defender Service of the District of Columbia
  • Ada Loo (alumna), counsel, The Boeing Company
  • The Honorable Marisa Demeo, D.C. Superior Court
  • Roxann Kerr (alumna), RA Kerr, PLLC
  • Radhika Singh Miller, program manager, Equal Justice Works
  • Natasha Thys (alumna), senior legal advisor, Africa Division, Rule of Law Initiatives, ABA
  • Nabila Isa-Odidi, practitioner-in-residence, Washington College of Law

10:45 - 11:45 a.m. - Networking Moment

A business card exchange among conference participants.

Noon - 1:45 p.m. - Keynote Luncheon

  • Remarks by and presentation to Jasmine Pierce, winner of the 2011 Alice Paul Feminist Jurisprudence Essay Contest sponsored by the WCL Women and the Law and Legal Rhetoric Programs.
  • Featured speaker: Dean Veryl Myles, Columbia School of Law, Catholic University
  • Presentation to Dean Myles

2 p.m. - Access to Legal Services

Who's providing legal services to women of color and how can we support them?

3:30 p.m. - Closing

Questions can be directed to the Office of Diversity Services, 202-274-4032.

*Artwork © Cynthia Farrell Johnson