2018 Diversity Leadership Award

Dillard University

Dillard University has demonstrated its commitment to diversity through a variety of initiatives aimed at building a pipeline for underrepresented students who seek to enter the legal profession. After Hurricane Katrina, Dillard had to rebuild its entire campus and reinvest in these efforts.

Since 2010, Dillard has opened a state-of-the-art mock trial courtroom, initiated an annual Law and Society Lecture Series, and instituted a Center for Law and Public Interest. In the summer of 2016, seven Dillard students were placed in summer pre-law programs at law schools around the country, and the University started an annual two-day intensive law admissions workshop to prepare students for every aspect of the admissions process.

Adria Kimbrough has been involved in Dillard’s pipeline efforts for several years and was hired as a full-time Pre-Law Advisor in 2016. Her efforts have included the creation of a Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) Boot Camp, a Mock Trial Team (ranked in the top 30% of teams in the nation), and a week-long program to prepare rising 1Ls of color for academic success in law school.

In 2017, AccessLex Institute awarded Dillard a Diversity Legal Education Pipeline Grant to support its pre-law programming, including: LSAT preparation and test anxiety workshops; strategies for creating a competitive law school application; individualized consultation throughout the application process; and a systemic mentorship program.

As Chief Judge Carl E. Stewart, the first African American Chief Judge to serve on the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (and a Dillard University graduate), noted in his nomination, “By providing students with intensive Law School Admissions Test preparation, one-on-one consultation in the law school application process, and meaningful exposure to the legal profession, Dillard truly exemplifies the American Bar Association’s principles and resolutions on diversity.”