Special to The Times
The inaugural College Minority Pre-Law Conference will be held in Birmingham on Friday, April 21 at the Robert S. Vance Federal Building and in Montgomery on Friday, April 28 at the Alabama State University Dunn-Oliver Acadome and the Frank M. Johnson, Jr., Federal Courthouse Complex.
Participants include more than 100 students from 17 colleges and junior colleges across the state.
The one-day event was developed from the original Minority Pre-Law Conference held for high school students.
The high school program was birthed as a result of the efforts of members of the Capital City Bar Association more than 20 years ago. Through the assistance of the Young Lawyer’s Section of the Alabama State Bar, this program, in conjunction with other local and specialty bars, has expanded to four locations throughout the state.
“The college conference was created in an attempt to further expand diversity within the legal profession within our state,” said Monet McCorvey Gaines of the Alabama Attorney General’s Office (Montgomery) who serves as vice president of the Alabama State Bar and chair of the Diversity of the Profession Committee. “This conference, in conjunction with the high school minority program that is sponsored in part by the Young Lawyer’s Section of the Alabama State Bar, will create a pipeline by which minority students within our state can have greater exposure and information regarding the benefits of obtaining a law degree. The decision to focus on the diversity within our profession and to expand the high school minority pre-law program has been a key initiative of our current bar president, J. Cole Portis.”
Notable speakers at the Birmingham Conference include Alabama State Bar President-Elect Augusta Dowd of White Arnold & Dowd, PC (Birmingham) and Judge Elizabeth French of the 10th Judicial Circuit of Alabama. Magistrate Judge John H. England III of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama has agreed to participate.
Notable speakers at the April 28 Montgomery conference include Alabama State Bar President J. Cole Portis of the Beasley Allen Law Firm (Montgomery), Magistrate Judge Terry F. Moorer of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, Senior Judge Myron F. Thompson of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, and Chief Presiding Judge W. Keith Watkins of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama.
The Diversity of the Profession Committee of the Alabama State Bar, in cooperation with the Federal Bar, the Magic City Bar and the Capital City Bar, will host the conference.