The State of Black Women in the Law
2023 DEIB Assessment Report
Black women attorneys in this country shared a collective victory when Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed and sworn-in to the Supreme Court of the United States. Her triumph showed us that the highest levels of our beloved legal profession were accessible to Black women. However for many, the level of success achieved by Justice Jackson and others seems out of reach.
The National Bar Association (NBA) and Kanarys Inc. partnered to evaluate the state of Black women attorneys on matters of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. Members of the NBA Women Lawyers Division (WLD) were the source of the data, which showed that while a majority of us feel empowered, respected and supported in our workplaces, there are many that experience, or witnessed someone experience, discrimination or bias. Incidents of discrimination and bias are amplified when they occur at the intersection of being Black and being a woman.
NBI Launches New Affiliate Scholarship and Bar Passage Success Programs
Prior to the close of 2022, the NBI launched a new scholarship program designed for greater outreach to the National Bar Association’s (NBA) Regions and Affiliate bar associations. All NBA Affiliates were solicited to nominate a second-year law student to their Regional Director for consideration to receive a scholarship and admission to the NBI Bar Passage Success Program. Each Region had the opportunity to review the nominations submitted by participating Affiliates and select two students. For the inaugural run of the program, Regions 7, 9 and 10 participated and sent their selections to the NBI.
The NBI designed the program so that 24 students from the Regions would be able to participate in two bar preparation courses occurring during the summer and mid-winter. Twelve (12) of the 24 nominated students will also receive a $5,000 scholarship. In addition to the Regional selections, seven (7) select law schools were invited to nominate a student to participate in the NBI Bar Passage Success Program. The NBI is funding the program and has contracted with JD Advising (www.jdadvising.com) to administer the NBI Bar Passage Success Program. JD Advising is well-known for its bar prep course and one-on-one tutoring. Key features of the programs are as follows:
Phase 1 (conducted virtually June 24-25, 2023)
- Overview of the bar exam
- Preparation for the bar exam (including classes to take)
- Law school essays vs. bar exam essays
- How to approach bar exam essays
- Highly tested areas of law on the bar exam
- An introduction to the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) and Multistate Performance Test (MPT)
- Office Hours for individual student inquiries and assistance
Phase 2 (scheduled for January 28, February 4, and February 11, 2024)
- Day 1 – Bar Exam Overview, Essay Advice and MPT (Part 1) including lectures by JD Advising on how to take the Bar exam, general ground rules, review of sample essay question and model answer.
- Day 2 – Essay review and practice questions with model answers and MPT (Part 2). Take home essay questions and review/feedback by JD Advising.
- Day 3 – MBE strategy, practice, and review.
By participating in the NBI Bar Passage Success Program, students will benefit from learning study techniques which will enhance their potential for success in passing the bar.
Dean Alfreda Robinson!
On June 14, 2023, she was inducted into the 98 year old Washington Bar Association Hall of Fame. Bestowed to mark a distinguished legal career, which includes service as the 77th President of the National Bar Association, induction into the National Bar Association Hall of Fame, and recipient of the National Bar Association’s highest honor, the C. Frances Stradford Award, Heman Marion Sweatt Award, and Sankofa Award.
On your promotion to Assistant General Counsel at General Motors and is now a Senior Executive. Stephanie Jones is responsible for intellectual property-related matters regarding General Motor’s autonomous vehicles, connectivity/infotainment, propulsion, research and development and data loss prevention. She negotiates strategic high-stakes IP agreements.
The Tallahassee Bar Association will honor 69th President, Daryl D. Parks
Congratulations to Daryl D. Parks, Board Member of the National Bar Institute. He will receive the Champion for Diversity Award from the Tallahassee Bar Association. This award honors the Tallahassee Bar Association member who has taken purposeful action and made long-term contributions demonstrating positive outcomes in achieving diversity, inclusion, and equity in the legal profession.
Dean Alfreda Robinson is Appointed by Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg
Congratulations Dean Alfreda Robinson for being appointed by the Department of Transportation, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, to serve on the Anti-Discrimination Subcommittee of the Aviation Consumer Protection Advisory Committee.
Dean Robinson is the former President and Chair of the Standing Committee on Judicial Selection, National Bar Association, Associate Dean for Trial Advocacy/Professor at George Washington Law, and representative of a national advocacy organization that represents diverse racial, ethnic, and religious communities.
Dean Robinson will be one of 19 members who will review airline policies, procedures, and practices to prevent discrimination against air travelers based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, ancestry, gender identity, and sexual orientation, and to make recommendations as to best practices to the Department of Transportation.