2023 cohort includes 15 students from six colleges in the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Law School Consortium
NEW YORK — LexisNexis Legal & Professional® today announced the third cohort of 15 students for its LexisNexis African Ancestry Network & LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation Fellowship program. New this year, the program will take a team-based approach, focusing on five projects that eliminate systemic racism and create greater equity and accessibility in the U.S. legal system. To further drive the impact of the program, LexisNexis has created corporate sponsorship opportunities, enabling law firms and corporations to demonstrate their commitment to inclusion and diversity, gain access to diverse HBCU law school talent, and help increase equity in the legal system. Reed Smith is the first law firm to sponsor the program.
This year’s fellows were selected from a large and competitive applicant pool representing all six law schools that comprise the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Law School Consortium (HBCULSC). The 2023 cohort includes:
“We are striving to increase the representation of diverse legal practitioners in prestigious and lucrative fields of law by providing HBCU law school students with additional professional development, career support, and industry exposure to ensure their access to opportunities,” said Adonica Black, Director, Global Diversity and Inclusion at LexisNexis Legal & Professional. “This year our cross-departmental team of LexisNexis employees took a deep dive into the research published by the first two Fellowship cohorts and identified five specific areas of focus in which we believe we can make a meaningful impact.”
“Supporting talented and deserving law students at HBCUs with the resources to fulfill their potential is critically important in breaking down the systemic barriers that have denied opportunities to far too many,” said Reggie McGahee, Reed Smith’s Global Head of Diverse Recruiting. “Reed Smith’s support of the LexisNexis African Ancestry Network & LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation Fellowship program is one example of how collaboration within the legal industry can provide the resources necessary to move the profession in the direction of inclusion, equality and equity. As a firm, and as members of the larger community, we remain committed to this worthy cause.”
The five projects selected by LexisNexis include:
The cohort will participate in an annual Fellowship Innovation Retreat in Raleigh where they will partner with the LexisNexis product team to uncover how technology can accelerate equity in the legal system by utilizing LexisNexis products to bolster their projects. Additionally, the fellows will provide reciprocal consultative feedback to the product team on ways to further innovate for equity.
The LexisNexis Fellowship Program was launched in 2021 by the African Ancestry Network (AAN) and LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation as a part of LexisNexis’ commitment to eliminate systemic racism in legal systems and build a culture of inclusion and diversity at the company. The program was created in partnership with the National Bar Association and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Law School Consortium (HBCULSC).
“Our vision is that we can make the world a better place for everyone by advancing the rule of law for everyone,” said Ian McDougall, President of the LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation. “It’s exciting to see LexisNexis marshaling its resources, and the dedication of its people, to make a practical, tangible impact on the rule of law – and on the lives and careers of its fellows.”
Each fellow is awarded $10,000 and spends nine months engaging in a unique experience to accelerate their career, develop their leadership skills, and create opportunities to make a real difference. As in previous years, LexisNexis employees will mentor and work with fellows on their projects with the shared goal of implementing solutions to eliminate systemic racism in our legal system 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.
At the culmination of the fellowship, fellows will present the results of their projects to LexisNexis executives, employees, HBCULSC deans, and program sponsors at the annual LexisNexis Equity in the Law Symposium.
Those interested in reading the findings from the 2022 fellowship cohort can download the report or watch the LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation 2022 Equity In the Law Symposium Webinar.
Editor’s Note: Photos of the 2023 Fellowship cohort are available upon request.
About LexisNexis Legal & Professional
LexisNexis® Legal & Professional provides legal, regulatory, and business information and analytics that help customers increase their productivity, improve decision-making, achieve better outcomes, and advance the rule of law around the world. As a digital pioneer, the company was the first to bring legal and business information online with its Lexis® and Nexis® services. LexisNexis Legal & Professional, which serves customers in more than 150 countries with 11,300 employees worldwide, is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers.
The African Ancestry Network (AAN) is organized as an official network for employees of African descent at RELX. AAN embraces RELX corporate diversity initiatives aimed at improving the company’s competitiveness by increasing the representation, development, promotion, and retention of black employees.
About LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation
LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which has the mission to advance the rule of law around the world. The foundation efforts focus on the four key elements of the rule of law: transparency of the law, accessible legal remedy, equal treatment under the law, and independent judiciaries.
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