Pre-Law Institute Wins National Award

Pre-Law Institute Wins National Award

The Oliver Hill/Samuel Tucker Pre-Law Institute won first place in the 2019 Embracing Diversity Challenge hosted by the American Bar Association (ABA) Young Lawyers Division.

Named for legendary civil rights attorneys Oliver Hill and Samuel Tucker, the institute reaches future lawyers at an early age to provide them with exposure and opportunity to explore the legal profession, all at no cost to the participants.

Founded by the VSB Young Lawyers Conference and now co-sponsored by the VSB’s Diversity Conference, the Hill/Tucker Institute introduces minority high school students to the legal profession with a week of mock classes and seminars on career opportunities in the law, test taking strategies, and the college admissions process. Networking with lawyers and judges, as well as a mock trial, round out the week of activities on a college campus.  

The institute is funded through the Diversity Conference and through generous yearly grants from the Virginia Law Foundation.

The ABA Young Lawyers Division’s Embracing Diversity Challenge recognizes and awards top young lawyer organization programs that increase diversity in the legal profession. Programs developed by young lawyer groups across the country were showcased at the 2019 ABA Young Lawyers Division Spring Conference in Washington, D.C., and received grants.

This is the second award that the VSB has won in this competition, winning a third-place award for the Logsdon Mentorship Network in 2016. This is the first overall first place award that a Virginia bar has taken in this competition.

Wesley Allen and Courtney Frazier, chairs of the Hill/Tucker Institute, stated:

We are thrilled to learn of this honor. This award further enables the institute to scale its footprint, reach and ultimately serve a broader constituent base, and further bolster the diversity in the pipeline to the legal profession. We encourage other bar associations who are considering establishing such a program to contact us, as we can think of no greater privilege than to touch the lives of the next generation of lawyers.

Hill/Tucker Institute Chairs Wesley Allen (far left) and Courtney Frazier (second from left) and Diversity Conference Board Member Chris Fortier (center) accepting the Embracing Diversity Challenge grant at the Library of Congress on May 3, 2019, from Paula Martucci of Walmart (second from right), and ABA Young Lawyers Division Chair Tommy Preston (far right).

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