Monday, August 8, 2022

Law schools work to recruit

February 21, 2001

February is National Minority Law Student Recruitment Month, and local law schools are hosting several related events.

The National Black Law Student Association, which has a chapter at MSU-Detroit College of Law, is holding its Midwest Region Convention today through Sunday at the Kellogg Center. The event includes panel discussions on black legal issues featuring state House Minority Leader Kwame Kilpatrick D-Detroit and retired Chrysler Vice President Leroy Richie.

Michael Bell, Moot Court specialist with the DCL chapter of the organization, said diversity is important in all aspects of the law.

“I don’t believe that minorities are always fairly represented by the law,” he said. “Diversity in law that’s all the way through from judges on down to police officers is important to preserve the integrity of the system.”

Cooley Law School, 217 S. Capitol Ave., in Lansing, is also holding events.

Melissa Pope, diversity coordinator at Cooley, is organizing “Follow in the Tradition of Thurgood Marshall,” an all-day seminar for area high school students today in celebration of National Minority Law Student Recruitment Month.

“We’re in need of people of color in the law school,” said Pope. “It’s clear that aggressive recruitment measures need to be made in order to make the legal profession reflect American society.”

Also at Cooley, Miguel Demapan, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Northern Mariana Islands, will speak to students and community members Thursday.

The event, sponsored by Cooley’s chapter of the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association, will also feature Michigan Supreme Court Justice Clifford Taylor.

Vince Torres, a third-year Cooley student, is organizing the event for the association. Torres, a native of the Northern Mariana Islands, said he asked Demapan to speak personally and he accepted.

Torres said increased diversity is important to a law school and prospective students shouldn’t be discouraged because they are in the minority.

“Everyone starts at the same level coming to law school,” he said. “There’s no white, there’s no black, there’s no green, there’s no pink.”

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