Spring

April is here, and it’s hard to believe that three months of the year have already gone by, but so it is. Today, Sunday, is a bit quieter than the first few days of the month have been. I visited the Williams family’s fine establishment, William’s Soul Food Express located in Rogers. It features terrific home style cooking, with daily specials. I ordered the 3 piece chicken dinner with sides, and thoroughly enjoyed it, managing to save a bit for a later meal. Mom’s place was the next stop and I ordered a piece of chocolate cake to go, knowing she would treasure a chocolate treat. I’d also packed my Bluetooth travel speaker, and we spent a lovely couple of hours listening to Gospel music, and singing along (Mom, after she finished her cake, of course).  10171255_10203636278647028_1519621317522346055_n

Saturday had been a doozy. It started at 4:30 with a ride back to Fayetteville, to arrive in time for a makeup Torts class. This spring semester, we missed a number of days due to the unusually rough winter. After a 3 hour class, with a lunch break catered by Jason’s Deli (and much appreciated by the class), I enjoyed wonderful conversation and the great humor of my two colleagues, Lisa Avalos and Will Foster. We talked about recent legal news, and every manner of thing. It was the kind of pleasant conversation between colleagues that rarely takes place in the busyness of a typical day, and I feel grateful for the time with them. Afterwards, I headed for an hour of pampering at Lavida, in large part to overcome the symptoms associated with being hunched over a desk for long periods of time. From there I visited Mom, and we caught the last rays of sun on a warm spring day.

The reason for the early morning drive back was that on Friday, the Arkansas Fellows of the American Bar Association (ABA) gathered together at a black tie  dinner at the Little Rock Country Club. Of note is that fact that one of our members, H.T. Moore was elected to the American Bar Association Board of Governors, a major distinction indeed, especially since he was unopposed for his seat. One of the interesting traditions of the ABA House of Delegates is that when a member of the House wins an election for a leadership position, she or he is escorted to the Well of the House by supporters. I know it may sound strange, but I’ve come appreciate that custom, as a visual affirmation of those elected and their supporters.

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The Arkansas Delegates With our new ABA Board of Governor’s member, Harry Truman Moore L-R: Me, H.T.Moore, Carolyn Witherspoon and Rick Ramsay.

Forgive me, but I am going to digress from a discussion about April events to talk about an amazing experience during the House of Delegates meeting in February. For the first time in the history of the American Bar Association, Paulette Brown, a Black lawyer from New Jersey, was elected as President-Elect Nominee of the ABA. THE FIRST TIME EVER! Not for a Black woman, for a woman of color. Period. I was incredible proud to be present that day to witness her walk through the floor of the House and to hear her remarks. It was a powerful moment for me, personally and professionally and I could not be more proud. I have to give a shout out to the women of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, for the trailblazing achievements of their sorority sister. #NPHC Love!   2014-02-10 14.05.57

With American Bar Association President-Elect Nominee Paulette Brown

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Back to April (after that most important digression). The first weekend of the month I attended the Midwest People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference at Indiana Tech Law School in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Founding Dean Peter Alexander is a good friend, and was a most gracious host to all of us, as was his faculty and staff. In addition to several plenary sessions on current topics of interest (I gave the closing plenary on the structure of theABA Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, and recent Legal Ed. Council actions), there were fabulous keynote speakers, including President-Elect Nominee Paulette Brown, The Honorable Tanya Walton Pratt, the First African-American Article III Federal Judge in Indiana (also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.), and Professor Bryan Stevenson. In addition, scholars presented a number of fascinating work-in-progress sessions presentations as well. A special treat was that I got to spend (a very brief) time with my cousins and aunt who live in Fort Wayne on Sunday morning before flying out.

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Other early April events in addition to the People of Color Conference, include the University of Arkansas Women Law Students’ reception honoring Justice Courtney Goodson with the Pontz-Pettus Award, our W.B. Putman Inn of Court’s last meeting of the academic year, and a fascinating program entitled Women Lead Arkansas host by our law school. Dr. Janine Parry, Former State Representative Lindsley Smith and Representative Stephanie Malone encouraged women to seek public office. Nature’s been busy too, and the spring bloom is well underway!

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