On Friday, April 6th and Saturday, April 7th, American University Washington College of Law proudly hosted the 5th Annual National Diversity Pre-Law Conference and Law Fair of 2018. Sponsored by AccessLex Institute, the conference is a national outreach and empowerment event designed for diverse aspiring lawyers. The annual conference aims to connect prospective students with law school admissions representatives, preparation advice, and career planning information that they might not otherwise receive.
Additionally, the conference offered attendees seminars in diversity leadership, coalition building and collaboration, and cultural competency. Attendees included high school students, undergraduate students and graduates, all who aspire to attend law school.
The first day of the conference included a panel presentation where speakers addressed diversity and inclusion in law school. Participants included multiple law school diversity and inclusion leaders: Kendra Brown, senior director for diversity, inclusion, and affinity at American University Washington College of Law; Judith A. Pérez-Caro, director of equity, community, and inclusion at Georgetown University Law Center; Shirley Jefferson, associate dean for student affairs and diversity and a professor of law at Vermont Law School; Rachel W. Patterson, director of diversity programs at the Center for Legal Education Excellence, AccessLex Institute; and Jaya Saxena, director of dean’s diversity and inclusion and assistant director of the Career Center at The George Washington University Law School.
This panel presentation was followed by a cultural competency workshop presented by Erica Edwards-O’Neal, the director of diversity and inclusion at New York Economic Development Corporation. Conference participants were then able to tour the United States Supreme Court and attend a networking reception at the George Washington University Law School.
The second day of the conference began with a panel discussion on how law schools consider diversity factors and how students can utilize these factors in the admissions process. The panel was followed by multiple workshops on topics such as financing legal education, writing your personal statement and diversity statement, and reviewing your resume. Conference participants were also able to attend at law school recruitment and diversity resources fair to learn about different law school programs and initiatives and meet with potential admissions representatives and law practitioners who all believe in increasing diversity in the legal profession.