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ABA Alexander Award to be presented at Midyear in Austin

The American Bar Association Council for Diversity in the Educational Pipeline has selected the Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) as the recipient of the 2020 Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Award for excellence in pipeline diversity.

Increasing diversity in the legal profession means expanded opportunities for underrepresented students.

Increasing diversity in the legal profession means expanded opportunities for underrepresented students.

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The award will be presented during a ceremony on Friday, Feb. 14, at the ABA Midyear Meeting in Austin, Texas. The award recognizes programs that advance opportunities for underrepresented students throughout the educational pipeline and into the legal profession.

CLEO, headquartered in Largo, Maryland, was founded in 1968 to expand opportunities for minority and low-income students to attend law school. Since its inception, more than 10,000 students have participated in CLEO’s programs and joined the legal profession.

“The Council for Diversity in the Educational Pipeline is thrilled to recognize the Council on Legal Education Opportunity, Inc. for its outstanding efforts over the past half century to expand the pipeline of diverse students into the legal profession,” said Matthew B. Archer-Beck, council chair. “CLEO epitomizes the type of diversity pipeline work the Alexander Award was designed to celebrate.”

CLEO’s flagship program is the Prelaw Summer Institute, a rigorous, residential program designed to familiarize and better prepare students to succeed in law school. The institute has been held on various law school campuses every summer since 1968. Additional workshops and seminars are offered for high school, college and graduate students interested in pursuing a legal career.

CLEO alumni are represented in law firms and corporations, law schools, federal and state judiciaries and legislatures across the country.

The Alexander Award is named after the life and legacy of two legal trailblazers – Raymond Pace Alexander and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander. Raymond was the first African-American to graduate from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and become a judge on the Common Pleas Court of Philadelphia in the 1930s. Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander, Raymond’s wife, was the first African-American women to receive a Ph.D. in the United States and the first woman to receive a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

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