Black Colleges Urged to Create Law SchoolsHOUSTON
The best way to get more Blacks into the legal profession is for historically Black colleges to create more law schools, says Dr. Frederick Humphries, president and CEO of the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO).
Top universities typically have medical, law, engineering and business schools, and steps should be taken to establish such programs at historically Black universities, Humphries told an audience of Black federal judges late last month during a discussion about the role of Black colleges in diversifying the legal bar.
Humphries said only six of the nation’s 100 historically Black colleges have law schools, including Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall College of Law.
“What I’m going to work on is to try to establish at least seven new law schools in historically Black colleges or universities,” he told the Houston Chronicle.
The discussion was part of the fifth biennial conference of the Just Beginning Foundation, a national association of federal Black judges. About 80 Black judges attended the conference, organizers said.
TSU law professor John Brittain, former dean of the law school, said the percentage of Black federal judges is higher than that of Black lawyers in the nation. About three percent of all lawyers are Black and about seven percent of all students in law school are Black.
Houston federal District Judges Vanessa Gilmore, who was hosting the conference, said 110 of the nation’s 795 federal judges are Black, or about 14 percent of the total.
“The goal for all of us is to have a judiciary that people can look to as a place where justice can be dispensed,” Gilmore says. “There’s appearance of fairness when the judiciary is seen as representing a cross section of America.”
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