Governor McAuliffe declared the entire month of October Pro Bono Month in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Celebrate and support the critical value of pro bono services to our profession and to our communities. Volunteer for pro bono events that provide counsel, advice and representation to low income individuals and the organizations that serve them. Call your local legal aid office or join Virginia.freelegalanswers.org today!
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The 7th Annual Fore Diversity Golf Tournament at the 2017 Annual Meeting was once again a great success. Beautiful weather greeted our golfers on Thursday, June 15, 2017 at the Virginia Beach National Golf Course. VSB President Doris Causey was among the honored guests celebrating our mission, our fellowship, and enthusiastically cheering on our foursomes. Special thanks and appreciation for the generous support of our Premium Sponsor Hunton & Williams and to our hosts at Virginia Beach National.
2017 Tournament Chair Eva Juncker is ready to hand over the reigns to new blood. Please consider volunteering as Chair or Co-Chair of the Fore Diversity Golf Tournament for the 2018 Annual Meeting. No golf experience required ! There cannot be a more fun way to get involved.
Contact Chair Carole Capsalis if you are interested or for more information.
By Christina S. Parrish, Esq.*
From late-May to mid-June, high school students across the Commonwealth are dreaming of a summer full of rest, relaxation and summer vacations. This year, a select group of students chose to delay these summer staples in favor of an opportunity to attend the Hill Tucker Pre-Law Institute.
On June 26, 2017, seventeen inquisitive and eager high school students descended upon the campus of the University of Richmond to attend the Oliver Hill/Samuel Tucker Pre-Law Institute. The Institute, an annual program for diverse and academically at-risk high school students across Virginia, provided the students with a positive introduction to the legal system and immersed them in the basic fundamentals of the legal profession through an intensive week of programming and academic exercise.
The Institute featured a robust week of programming. Students enjoyed a guided tour of the Virginia Capitol building. After which, the participants engaged in an exclusive question and answer experience with The Honorable Justice Cleo Powell. Students mixed and mingled with local practitioners during an evening networking reception in the University of Richmond Law School Atrium. Admissions representatives from several Virginia colleges and universities reviewed the college admissions process and offered helpful advice for students with the goal of gaining admission to law school. Five Richmond area attorneys—Colette McEachin, Doug Smith, Nicole Thompson Stock, Rita P. Davis, and Stacy E. Lee—discussed the array of legal practice areas and the many paths to a successful legal career during a very candid career panel. The students even completed a session on etiquette to prepare for the many business lunches and dinners to come in their future, as well as our closing banquet which featured Dr. Dietra Trent, Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth of Virginia, as keynote speaker.
While managing a robust programming schedule, the students prepared for a mock trial competition throughout the week. Daily workshops provided an introduction to basic trial advocacy skills, such as opening and closing statements, as well as direct and cross examination. The Honorable Manuel Capsalis and The Honorable Michael Lindner from the Fairfax County General District Court reinforced their knowledge base with a special session on trial advocacy from the perspective of the bench. With only four days of preparation, the students thoroughly impressed each volunteer practitioner during the mock trial competition and created memories that will last a lifetime.
Beyond the programming and the academic exercises, the Honorable David Eugene Cheek, Sr. from the Richmond General District Court offered the most impactful aspect of the program, imparting on each student the important legacy of Mssrs. Hill and Tucker. The Hill Tucker Pre-Law Institute was named in honor of famed African American civil rights attorneys Oliver J. Hill and Samuel W. Tucker. In 1940, Mr. Hill began winning cases alongside his colleague and law school classmate, Thurgood Marshall, and was perhaps most recognized for his role in one of the four companion cases in Brown v. Topeka Board of Education. Samuel W. Tucker, Esquire, after serving as an officer in the armed forces, later joined Oliver W. Hill’s firm and together they successfully and tirelessly combatted massive resistance to implementation of the Brown decision through a number of significant cases. FN
Judge Cheek shared his personal reflections from working alongside Mr. Oliver Hill and Mr. Samuel Tucker. He passionately impressed upon each student the legacy left by these two trailblazers and the opportunity afforded each student as a result of Mr. Hill and Mr. Tucker’s combined sacrifices and service as distinguished citizen lawyers.
The Institute is offered at no cost to the aspiring student lawyers, long made possible by law firm donations and grants from the Virginia Law Foundation and by funds raised by the Diversity Conference through its predecessor 501(c)(3) Millennium Diversity Initiative. In its first year as a fully funded Conference of the Virginia State Bar, the Hill Tucker Institute is perhaps the most rewarding budgeted item for the Diversity Conference as it continues to further its mission of diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. Once again this year, the Diversity Conference is grateful to the Virginia Law Foundation for this year’s grant, without which the continued success of the Institute would not be possible.
Finally, the success of the Institute would not be possible without a dedicated core of volunteer attorneys from the Young Lawyers Conference, the Hill Tucker Bar Association and the Diversity Conference. Since its inception, members of the Young Lawyers Conference have served as chairpersons and organizers of the Institute’s programs. This year the Diversity Conference would like to express its gratitude and appreciation to Co-Chairs Alicia Roberts and Christina Parrish, who dedicated countless hours in preparation for the annual event and then provided guidance and mentorship to the students throughout the week.
Above all, the Institute represents opportunity. Mr. Oliver Hill and Mr. Samuel Tucker labored to ensure that each participant can not only have a seat at the table, but that they are equipped and emboldened to bring their own chairs. While we recognize that five days alone is insufficient to completely summarize the entire practice of law, we are confident that the Hill Tucker Pre-Law Institute lit a fire of curiosity and inspiration in each student that we hope will continue to burn and grow for years to come.
* The author was a director of the 2017 Hill Tucker Pre-Law Institute along with co-director Alicia N. Roberts, Esq. Ms. Parrish practices law at the Richmond, Virginia firm of Boleman Law Firm, PC, and is the current president of the Hill Tucker Bar Association.
The Diversity Conference sponsored its Third Annual Mentor/Mentee Initiative at the 2017 Annual Meeting. Under this Initiative, the Diversity Conference invites Deans of each of the Virginia law schools to select two of their outstanding 2L or 3L students whom they feel would be deserving to attend the Virginia State Bar Annual Meeting, and who reflect their schools’ diversity goals and excellence in studies. As in years past, we paired each law student with a practicing attorney member of the Diversity Conference who served as mentors to the students at the June 2017 Annual Meeting. The students were invited to participate in all Annual Meeting events, including the CLE sessions sponsored by the Diversity Conference. This year, the Diversity Conference co-sponsored 3 CLE sessions, “Grace and Justice on Death Row,” “How Attorneys Can Promote and Advance Access to Justice,” and “Autism and the Practice of Law”. They also attended the plenary programming including the Attorney General debate on Saturday morning and the President’s Installation Banquet on Friday evening. On Thursday evening, the mentors and mentees enjoyed a private dinner at a local pub. There, Justice McClanahan joined us and chatted with each one of the students. There were so many rich mentoring and networking opportunities, from law school alumni breakfasts to private meet and greets with attending justices of the Virginia Supreme Court, including Justices McClanahan and Powell.
We would like to express our appreciation for the time, enthusiasm and dedication of each of our volunteer mentors, Todd Pilot, Debra Powers, Kimberly Scott, Rachel Wolfe, Chidi James, Sheila Costin, Carole’ Krogmann, David Masterman, Marcus Scriven, Lorrie Sinclair, Antoinette Young, Kathryn Dickerson, Eva Juncker, Latoya Asia, Melissa Little, Chris Fortier, Jane Reynolds, Charles Lollar, Hon. Gina Marine, Polly Chong, Luis Perez, Hon. David Eugene Cheeks, Carole Capsalis, and special thanks to board member Maura Weiner, who chaired the Law Student Committee and attended to every last detail of the Mentor.Mentee Initiative to bring each of the law student mentees an unforgettable experience. Please consider becoming a mentor for the 2018 Annual Meeting. It will be hard to judge for whom it is more rewarding, the mentor or the mentee!
Mentors, mentees, and Diversity Conference Board members with Virginia State Bar President Doris Causey and President Elect Len Heath
Dear Virginia State Bar Diversity Conference Members and Friends,
I am honored and humbled to serve as the Chair of the Virginia State Bar Diversity Conference for fiscal year 2016-2017. I follow a strong legacy of leaders who have laid the foundation for furthering the Diversity Conference’s mission of 1) fostering and encouraging diversity and inclusion in admission to the bar, advancement in the profession, and in the judiciary; 2) facilitating diversity and inclusion in professional leadership opportunities; and 3) ensuring that Virginians’ changing legal needs are met. Over the years, like other organizations with a similar mission, the Diversity Conference has faced numerous challenges and perceived setbacks. However, I am encouraged that we can look back and say that we are better because of the trials that we overcame together to make the Diversity Conference what it is today. Throughout it all, the Diversity Conference’s leadership and members have been an encouragement and resource to lead the way for the future.
This is a very unique and rewarding year for the Diversity Conference as it is our first year as a funded Conference of the Virginia State Bar (“VSB”). Prior to this year, the Diversity Conference survived as a result of successful sponsorship and grant initiatives, as well as many generous out-of-pocket contributions from Board members. This critical financial status change has enabled the Diversity Conference the opportunity to think more strategically about how we can best serve within the Commonwealth of Virginia moving forward. Upon receipt of this wonderful news, the Diversity Conference’s Board of Governors tasked itself with outlining several new and continuing programs that align with both the Diversity Conference’s mission stated above and the VSB’s mission that includes, but is not limited to, advancing the availability and quality of legal services provided to the people of Virginia and assisting in improving the legal profession and the judicial system. Some of these programs include:
- CLE at the Conference of Local Bar Association’s Solo and Small Firm Practitioner Forum: Understanding Diversity: The Changing Realities and Considerations in the Practice of Law in the Commonwealth of Virginia
- Co-sponsor of the following CLE’s at the 2017 VSB Annual Meeting: Grace and Justice on Death Row; How Attorneys Can Promote and Advance Access to Justice; Autism and the Practice of Law
- Law School Mentor/Mentee Initiative at the 2017 VSB Annual Meeting
- 7th Annual Fore Diversity Golf Tournament at the 2017 VSB Annual Meeting
- 2017 Oliver Hill/Samuel Tucker Pre-Law Institute
For more information about these programs and other initiatives, please visit the VSB Diversity Conference website at http://www.vsb.org/site/conferences/dc.
As we move into a new year, the Diversity Conference has its eyes set on, among other things, strengthening its membership involvement, establishing a signature program/event, and continuing to partner with like-minded organizations with an emphasis on advancing our mission and respective goals.
I look forward to continue to serve as a champion for diversity and inclusion in the legal profession in the Commonwealth of Virginia. If you have any suggestions as to how the Diversity Conference can better serve our legal community, please do not hesitate to contact me.
The KPMG Foundation:
Creating a Pipeline to Diversity in Business through Higher Education
Since 1968, the KPMG Foundation has been exploring, supporting and developing programs to enhance and improve business higher education. The Foundation seeks to bring about systemic change in business and society-specifically, an increase in the diversity of ideas. That’s why they invest in business education and volunteerism at all levels, over the long term. Their programs aimed at business higher education include competitive faculty research grants, endowed scholarships and professorships, faculty professional development and many others (see side bar history). Their Matching Gift program is used strategically by conducting campus specific campaigns that restrict the aggregate giving to those areas that address the most critical needs of the university business school, and resonate with the passions and interests of the KPMG employees and partners who contribute to the campaigns.
Over 23 years ago, the KPMG Foundation became the creator, primary funder, and driving force behind The PhD Project, one of the most far-reaching and ambitious programs ever conceived to address the under-representation of African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and Native Americans in business, higher education, and the corporate workforce. A landmark effort, The PhD Project aims to put more minorities on business school faculties, which will attract more minority students and create greater diversity among future business school graduates thereby increasing the pool of diverse candidates available to employers.
When the PhD Project began in 1994, there were just 294 minority business school professors (1% of all business school professors) in the U. S. Today, that number has quadrupled to over 1,350 with 270 minority doctoral students on their way to becoming professors, and these numbers are increasing every day. Fewer than 60 of the over 1,600 business programs have a dean that is either African American, Hispanic American or Native American. The PhD Project is addressing that through conducting professional development programs and engagement with search firms.
Because of its success and the obvious, long-term need for such a program, The PhD Project became a separate 501©(3) public charity, with the Foundation continuing to be the lead Sponsor, which includes cash and the cost to provide all of the required administration.
After creating The PhD Project, the Foundation focused on supporting programs that impacted the flow of minority students to college. Our KPMG Families for Literacy focuses on grades K-3 almost exclusively for disadvantaged students at inner city schools. KPMG’s support for Junior Achievement Finance Park addresses financial literacy at middle schools again with a heavy involvement toward the underserved. The Foundation has supported the National Academies Foundation for many years, where students in under resourced high schools attend career academies while fulfilling standard high school curricula that prepares them for college.
These programs, combined with support of The PhD Project, represent over 40% of the KPMG Foundation’s discretionary grant budget. It is obvious that KPMG and the KPMG Foundation are very serious about diversity.
SIDEBAR (IF ALLOWED)
Over the years, the KPMG Foundation has provided support and direction to a number of initiatives which have greatly impacted business higher education. This list highlights those programs, many of which are still supported by the Foundation.
Matching Gift Program
Research Opportunities in Auditing
Consortium for Graduate Study in Management
Research Opportunities in International Business Information
Tax Research Opportunities
Minority Accounting Doctoral Scholarships
Historically Black Colleges and Universities
The PhD Project
The PhD Project Accounting Doctoral Students Association
The PhD Project Information Systems Doctoral Students Association
Points of Light Institute
The PhD Project Finance, Management and Marketing Doctoral Students Associations
Minority Information Systems Doctoral Scholarships
National KPMG Employee Volunteer Program
The PhD Project Association (launched as a 501©(3) Public Charity)
KPMG’s National Audit Case Competition Program
The PhD Project AHEAD – Achieving Higher Education Administration Diversity – is launched to encourage tenured minority faculty to explore positions in administration
National Academy Foundation (NAF)
Junior Achievement Finance Park (JA)
The PhD Project Faculty Alumni Association Sessions added to summer programming
KPMG Families for Literacy