The National Black Pre-Law Conference and Law Fair will hold its 11th annual event next week in Houston to equip pre-law students with the resources they need to succeed in the legal profession. New this year is the National Hispanic Pre-Law Conference, which allows students to receive insight from successful Hispanic law students and attorneys. Both events will be held November 13-14 at the University of Houston Law Center.
“Special to this event is the fact that attendees will be able to fully take advantage of two conferences combined together into one major joint event so they will gain a better understanding of and sensitivity to the issues that both black and Latino law students and lawyers face,” said Evangeline M. Mitchell, conference founder and executive director of the nonprofit National Pre-Law Diversity Initiatives Inc., which organizes the events. “In addition, we are bringing in the discussion and consideration of ways that both communities can effectively work together to collaborate and coalition build for the common goal of increasing the numbers and success of both black and Latino law students and lawyers.”
Attendees interested in becoming an attorney can take advantage of a law school recruitment fair, where they will have access to up to 100 law schools, discussions with law school administrators, law students, and lawyers nationwide on admissions, the law school experience, and legal careers, workshops on admissions essays and financial aid, a law school admission test (LSAT) mock diagnostic, a one-on-one advice clinic and practical assistance session, an aspiring lawyers pinning ceremony, and networking opportunities. There will also be giveaways including a free LSAT preparation course, LSAT preparation books and more.
Keynote speakers at the Black Pre-Law Conference include Charles T. Ogletree Jr., founder of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at the Harvard Law School; Sylvester Turner, 25-year Texas state representative; Nicolaine M. Lazarre, senior vice president and general counsel of the National Urban League; and Benjamin L. Crump, president of the National Bar Association. Special guests include Ricky Anderson, managing partner of Anderson & Smith P.C.; Robert Sims, partner of Latham & Watkins LLP in San Francisco; E. “Rena” Felton, president of the Houston Lawyers Association; Robert Collier, chair of the African American Lawyers Section of the State Bar of Texas; and Carlos Moore, vice-president of the National Bar Association.
Keynote speakers at the Hispanic Pre-Law Conference include Benny Agosto Jr., partner of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend; Linda Maria Wayner, executive director of the Latino Institute for Human Rights at the NYU School of Law; and Robert T. Maldonado, president of the Hispanic National Bar Association. Special guests include Angela C. Garcia, president of the Hispanic Bar Association of Houston; Juan C. Garcia, partner of Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan LLP; Benjamin K. Sanchez, president of the Sanchez Law Firm; Jeffrey S. Muñoz, partner of Latham & Watkins LLP; Kevin M. Chavez, president of the Mexican American Bar Association of Houston; Eduardo Reyes Chavez, president of the National Latina/o Law Students Association; and Dynette Cordova, immediate past president of the National Latina/o Law Students Association.
Additional guests include Arthur L. Bryan II, president-elect of the Houston Young Lawyers Association; Laura Gibson, president of the Houston Bar Association; James M. Douglas, distinguished professor of law at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law and vice president of the community affairs and governmental relations at Texas Southern University; Keshia Rodriguez, chair of the Diversity in the Profession Committee of the State Bar of Texas; Leonard Baynes, dean and professor of law at the University of Houston Law Center; Dannye Holley, dean and professor of law at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University; and Donald J. Guter, president and dean of South Texas College of Law.
Legacy Builder Honorees include Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund; Joseph Hairston, the first African American U.S. Army helicopter pilot and the first African American to serve as a senior executive in the IRS’s Office of Chief Counsel; Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, U.S. House of Representative of the 18th congressional district; and the Honorable Josephina Rendón, associate judge of the City of Houston Municipal Courts and the first Latina civil district judge in Harris County.
The events are open to the public, and general admission is free. Complimentary food will be provided to attendees throughout the events.