Lessons from Successful African American Lawyers: Practical Wisdom for Those on the Path to Lawyerhood (Volume I) is an empowering, easy-to-read, and practical book featuring insightful personal and professional profiles and priceless lessons learned from a diverse group of 55 African American lawyers from across the nation. These lawyers represent different decades of law school graduates (1970s to the 2010s), types of law schools (local to national, HBCUs to Ivy Leagues), and career paths (from small firm practitioners to civil rights lawyers to corporate counsel to large law firm partners).
This groundbreaking resource serves as “mentorship in a book” from a variety of dynamic voices specifically directed to the many African American readers who are interested in pursuing this challenging path to becoming lawyers – but who may not have real-life mentors that they call upon to ask questions. Every single lawyer featured generously shares insightful and thoughtful advice that they hope will make the path a little easier for those who plan to pursue this obstacle-laden, yet worthwhile journey. This book provides a large number of “mentors” who have contributed to this incredible effort.
The lawyers in this book share critical perspectives on a wide range of relevant topics for aspiring lawyers from applying to and preparing for law school, making the most of the entire law school experience, preparing for the bar exam (state licensing exam), coping with the additional challenges of being a Black law student and lawyer, finding or creating a job and career advancement, to why we need more Black lawyers and whether the law degree is worth the financial investment.
This “must have” resource is filled with an incredible amount of rich, game-changing anecdotes and countless pearls of wisdom. The reader gets to consider advice from an array of African American lawyers, where almost all were “firsts” in their families and did not benefit from wise counsel before entering the entirely different world of legal education.
This book is extraordinarily useful to the aspiring lawyer (both trying to get into law school and those already law students) who want to gain a greater perspective on what it means to be a “successful” lawyer and what it really takes on the road to get there. Take your notebook and pen out and get ready to take lots of notes because so much precious knowledge is included.
This significant book represents a genuine labor of love and a united collective effort of Black lawyers who are all different but share a common, strong sense of social responsibility and a deep desire to help other Black people interested in becoming lawyers. It was created to inspire and encourage more African Americans interested in the challenges and opportunities presented by pursuing a professional legal education. They want you to understand their journeys to success, but most importantly, they want to pour into you so that you can achieve success too.
Evangeline M. Mitchell, Esq., Ed.M. is a social entrepreneur, author, lawyer, and documentary filmmaker. She is the founder of Hope’s Promise Publishing, the first niche publishing company dedicated to producing books geared to aspiring Black lawyers. She is the author or editor of several books including The African American Pre-Law School Advice Guide, Profiles & Essays of Successful African American Law School Applicants, The African American Law School Survival Guide, Conquering the Bar Exam, and Creating Your Personal Strategic Action Plan for Law School Admission Success. She is currently working on Race, Racial Trauma, and the Black Law Student: Real Stories of Racism Experienced in American Law Schools.
She is the founder of the National Black Pre-Law Conference and the National HBCU Pre-Law Summit, the country’s only major national information-sharing, networking and empowerment events created especially for aspiring Black lawyers, and for current HBCU students and alumni. She also launched The Bridge Builders Esq. Mentorship Program for Aspiring Black Lawyers with the goal of providing mentoring circles for prospective law students to enable them to have law student and lawyer mentors and peer pre-law accountability partners to support them in their journeys to law school. In addition, she is the founder of HBCUPRELAW.com and BLACKPRELAW.com informational resource websites. Further, she is a documentary filmmaker, and is the creator and executive producer of the docu-series/web series “Becoming Black Lawyers: African Americans and the Law School Experience.”
Through her self-initiated grassroots programming and other efforts and her ability to bring people together around a common cause, she has helped thousands of Black people across the country with law school aspirations better understand what it takes to get into law school and succeed while there. Additionally, she mentors numerous prospective law students across the country.
Evangeline is the recipient of several awards including the Leadership Empowerment Award from the National Black MBA Association-Houston Chapter, the Roberson L. King Excellence in Education Award from the Houston Lawyers Association, the Sadie T.M. Alexander Service Award from the National Black Law Students Association, the Nation’s Best Advocates – 40 Lawyers Under 40 from IMPACT and the National Bar Association, the Top 50 Black Lawyers of Houston and the Trailblazer Award from D-Mars.com, Who’s Who in Black Houston, the Houston Bar Association’s Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program Equal Access Champion Award, the Legacy of NBLSA Award, the CLEO Edge Award for Education, Ms. JD’s Road Less Traveled Award, The National Black Lawyers – Top 100, the National Black Law Students Association Pre-Law Division Honoree Award, and the Lawyers of Color Power List 2020.
Evangeline is a graduate of HBCU Prairie View A&M University, the University of Iowa College of Law, and the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. She is working on a distance Certificate in Documentary Arts from the Duke University Center for Documentary Studies. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana and raised in Houston, Texas, she currently resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband Michael and two children Nyla and Michael II.
Lessons from Successful African American Lawyers is a spiritual primer, a social registrar, and a Rand McNally all in one, for what it takes to survive in the legal field as an African American. Evangeline's book provides the tips that will take you from pre-law to associate and the amazing attorneys profiled within fill in all the gaps. This is the perfect high school or college graduation gift for the aspiring attorney in your life.
I AM IN LOVE! It appeals to the demographic of students who desire to go to law school but have no one to reach out to for help or resources, so this was extremely helpful. . . . I am in love with all of this content, and this has given me so much confidence moving forward now with my law school process! You're amazing for this!
I think this book is phenomenal and a necessary asset for aspiring Black lawyers. I really appreciated the breadth of experiences reflected in the book. I also found it to be interesting and useful that the advice extends to attorneys in all stages in their career from the law school acceptance process to career path. This adds so much value and allows me to go back and read again as I reach the milestones in my journey to becoming an attorney.
I must say this book will go on to do great and wondrous things for aspiring African American lawyers. This book answers all the questions that I've had thoroughly and I'm sure it will do so for my peers. With the state of our nation currently protesting for the rights of Black Lives, this book, I'm sure will serve as a great inspirational piece for the awakened activists that have come to the realization that the battle for equality must be fought and won in the courtroom. With such wealth of information gained from just 55 lawyers, I can see this book project having multiple volumes containing priceless advice.
I loved the book! I think that it added necessary and currently missing information and advice to the Black community. I gathered so many things to think about, even as a now 3L. I loved that it provided access to some of the legal giants and success stories that we talk about but rarely have the ability to take to coffee. I know I will definitely be pointing people that I know that are interested in law school and are also in law school to your book.
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