TU Law students host Minority Law Awareness Day
The University of Tulsa College of Law welcomed 20 students from Union, Central and Booker T. Washington high schools on Feb. 22 for the annual Judge Chappelle Minority Law Awareness Day. These young visitors met with law students and professors, learned more about applying to college, experienced a mock trial and interacted with members of the Tulsa law community.
The goal of Minority Law Awareness Day is to promote diversity in the profession of law. TU’s Black Law Student Association and Latino Law Student Association partnered to create this successful event.
Connections and inspiration
TU Law’s Diversity Outreach Coordinator Eruore Oboh explained that “Minority Law Awareness Day is instrumental in linking the future of legal diversity with the present practitioners that have experienced, embraced and been empowered by the contributions of diverse legal professionals before them, such as Judge Chappelle. It is vital that we continue to inspire a generation of minority students to see themselves as being able to attain a dream that to them may seem impossible or insurmountable. I am so pleased that TU Law is at the forefront of this goal in the Tulsa area.”
“This is our next generation and it’s really inspiring to see this group of students who come from all different backgrounds and different socio-economic statuses to come and learn that they have no barriers,” said Lashandra Peoples-Johnson, TU Law’s Student Bar Association president. “It is important that we are able to touch the community that we are from,” said Cordal Cephas, president of the Black Law Student Association.
In addition to the morning on TU’s campus, in the afternoon students were shuttled downtown to see Tulsa’s local law area. The school students toured the Tulsa County Courthouse and Connor & Winters Law firm, followed by a panel discussion led by attorneys.
Judge Carlos Chappelle
TU Law’s Minority Law Awareness Day is named in honor of Judge Carlos Chappelle, who earned his J.D. at the college in 1980. Judge Chappelle had a passion for helping Tulsa youth, and he mentored high school students and allowed them in his courtroom, chamber and to shadow him in his work.
Chappelle was in private practice for 14 years and a part-time instructor at Tulsa Community College. In October 2009, he was appointed as a district judge; he held this position until his retirement in May 2015. Chappelle was elected as a presiding judge in 2014, which made him the first African American to hold the position in Tulsa County. Chappelle passed away in 2015.