That was then: 15 law student Fellows looking rather worried as we explain that they need to plan, research, and write a publishable-quality legal advocacy paper.
This is now: 15 published authors proudly...
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By Adonica Black, JD
It is my honor to introduce to the legal community 15 promising law students who are the 2023 recipients of the LexisNexis African Ancestry Network & LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation...
By Adonica Black, JD
Legal professionals nationwide will participate in the 2023 LexisNexis® Equity in the Law Symposium in Miami and virtually on October 27, 2023, featuring presentations of the projects completed by 15 law school Fellows who are the recipients of the LexisNexis African Ancestry Network & LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation Fellowship.
The symposium will be headlined by Congressman Bakari Sellers and will be held in conjunction with the Wiley A. Branton Symposium, an annual conference focused on civil rights and social justice presented by the National Bar Association. This will be the third annual summit to showcase the research and practical recommendations produced by the LexisNexis® African Ancestry Network & LexisNexis® Rule Law Foundation Fellowship.
This innovative fellowship program, which was launched in 2021, is placing a spotlight on how we can advance the rule of law by eliminating systemic racism in the legal system. This year’s fellows were selected from a large and competitive applicant pool representing all six members of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Law School Consortium (HBCULSC).
The 2023 cohort of Fellows included:
Each fellow was awarded $10,000 and spent approximately nine months engaging in a unique experience to accelerate their career, develop their leadership skills, and create opportunities to make a real difference, working alongside LexisNexis employees to identify potential solutions to systemic racism challenges in the U.S. legal system. Their fellowship experience culminates with this annual symposium.
The 2023 Fellows are organized into five research clusters and have worked together to develop specific project deliverables in these areas:
These Fellows worked on a mobile application designed to increase literacy and comprehension of the Rule of Law and other critical legal concepts in the U.S., such as Miranda rights, for youth and their parents/guardians (Roberson; Fleming; Jackson-Hawkins).
These Fellows collaborated to uncover untold U.S. history through the law by working on an accessible repository — available throughout the LexisNexis platform — of inclusive curriculum resources, including racially diverse case law, to help legal scholars, historians, and others increase awareness of minority culture and nuances in the law (Brown-Harper; Graham; Dean).
These Fellows set out to increase the representation of diverse legal talent in prestigious and lucrative fields of legal practice by providing HBCU law students with additional professional development, support, and exposure to ensure their career success (Wolford; Tuggle; Russell).
These Fellows researched the possible applications and consequences of leveraging technology — specifically artificial intelligence — to alleviate racial bias in the jury selection process, gather survey results and analysis to gauge public sentiments on the jury selection process, and expand a jury dashboard to show what a representative jury might look like through a county-by-county data visualization tool that can be used by practitioners and community members (Denkins; Triplet; Okhuevbie).
These Fellows worked to increase access to the U.S. legal system by providing additional resources for legal practitioners doing pro bono work and legal clinics assisting individuals with legal challenges related to equity in the courts and criminal justice system (Futrell; Campbell; Alba).
To learn more about the 15 Fellows and their five research projects, click here.
This unique Fellowship initiative is an extension of LexisNexis’ commitment to eliminate systemic racism in legal systems while advancing the four key elements of the rule of law — equality under the law, transparency of law, an independent judiciary, and accessible legal remedy and will continue to build a culture of inclusion and diversity within our company. Our perspective is that we must do what we can, where we can, whenever we can, to keep moving forward in the pursuit of justice and equality.
For more information about how your law firm or company can partner with us by financially supporting the LexisNexis African Ancestry Network & LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation Fellowship program, please contact me at Adonica.Black@lexisnexis.com.
Download the publication containing the final reports developed by the 2023 Legal Fellows, and review the publications created by the 2021 and 2022 cohorts.