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ABA's Diversity Leadership Award Goes to UB School of Law's Fannie Angelos Program for Academic Excellence

May 2, 2017
Contact: Office of Government and Public Affairs
Phone: 410.837.5739

The University of Baltimore School of Law's Fannie Angelos Program—the most successful program of its kind for legal education—has been awarded the prestigious Diversity Leadership Award by the American Bar Association. The Fannie Angelos Program was honored for "promoting full and equal participation in the legal profession," according to a letter from the ABA to the school. The 2017 Diversity Leadership Award will be presented to the Fannie Angelos Program on May 3 during the ABA Section of Litigation's 2017 annual conference in San Francisco.

F. Michael Higginbotham and Michael I. Meyerson, the Dean Joseph Curtis Professor of Law and the DLA Piper Professor of Law, respectively, are the co-founders of the Fannie Angelos Program for Academic Excellence and are known in the law school as "the two Mikes" for their solidarity in strengthening the diversity program since its inception in 1995. The program was inspired by legendary Baltimore lawyer Fannie Angelos, LL.B. '51, who wanted her legacy to be about finding talented young lawyers and inspiring them to overcome obstacles on their path to becoming great litigators and advocates.

The Fannie Angelos Program represents a revolutionary approach for addressing the lack of diversity in legal education and the legal profession. It has established a collaboration between the School of Law and Maryland's four historically black colleges and universities—Bowie State University, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Coppin State University and Morgan State University.

"We do not consider ourselves a diversity program," says Prof. Meyerson, director of the program. "We are a talent search. We have found that if you discover talent and truly level the playing field, diversity will happen."

Each year, eight applicants are chosen as Fannie Angelos Scholars, qualifying them to receive a full-tuition scholarship to attend the School of Law. Additionally, the program provides for up to 72 other HBCU students to attend a rigorous LSAT review course to help them gain entry to law school.

"We've reached a point in the program where some of the area's most prestigious law firms are asking for Angelos Scholars," Meyerson says. "But it's not just a story about successful lawyers?it's how talent opens doors and gets attention."

The Fannie Angelos Program not only helps students from the HBCUs gain admittance to law school; it also encourages them to excel in their law school classes, and then helps them find jobs upon graduation.

"Our students have overcome the odds," Prof. Higginbotham says. "It could be poverty, racism, or other socioeconomic barriers that present a significant obstacle to their success. Yet they still thrive. All of us have deep respect for what these students have achieved. They have a drive and a focus that shows through in so many ways. And now the ABA is taking notice."

Learn more about the Fannie Angelos Scholars Program for Academic Excellence.

Learn more about the University of Baltimore School of Law.

The University of Baltimore is a member of the University System of Maryland and comprises the College of Public Affairs, the Merrick School of Business, the UB School of Law and the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences.


Last Published 6/9/16