Recently, a diverse group of thirty-four students from more than seven states graduated from the Crump Law Camp (Camp Crump), a program that was established by the National Bar Association (NBA) in 2001 as a means of addressing the disparity in minority enrollment in law schools.
Camp Crump is named after John Crump, the executive director of the NBA, and is designed to offer students an opportunity to cultivate their interest in becoming a lawyer while providing them with stimulating educational curriculum to help foster their understanding and appreciation for the study of law.
NBA President Clyde Bailey addressed the 5th annual graduating class, which was hosted by the Howard University School of Law. In his remarks, Bailey told the new graduates: "Your participation in this unique law experience makes a profound statement about the declining rate of African Americans in law schools in this country, and how we must begin to reverse that alarming trend."
Camp Crump accepts youth between the ages of 13 and 17 from across the United States and from various backgrounds. Participants are given the opportunity to interact with attorneys, law professors, and guest lecturers as an emphasis is placed on academic preparedness and social readiness for law school. Students compete in mock trial and writing competitions, attend classes, and take field trips to historical sites and courthouses. Most important, students gain exposure to a college setting by residing on Howard University's campus in Washington, D.C. Additionally, winners of the competitions are recognized at the NBA's annual convention.
Bailey also went on to tell the young lawyers-to-be, "Stay the course by excelling in your high school programs and later in college. Resist being threatened or bullied by those who lack your motivation and interest in a career such as law. You are someone very special because of your experience in this NBA law camp and that will be obvious to many of your peers when you return to your respective communities."
Additionally, the NBA indicated that as the world becomes more global in perspective, the significance of diversity in the American legal profession is increasingly important, particularly as it seeks to promote equal justice and judicial reform at home and abroad. By providing incentive, motivation, and direction to aspiring law students of color, the program will help prepare the nation's future lawyers, judges, and protectors of the judicial system.
The Coalition of Minority Bar Associations of Color (CBAC) endorses the program. The member associations include: the NBA, National Hispanic American Bar Association (NHABA), National Asian and Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), and the Native American Bar Association (NABA). Additionally, Veta T. Richardson, executive director, Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA), was a member of the Advisory Board that reviewed the many applications to select the final participants this year. The member groups and state and local bar organizations also help recruit students.
The NBA was founded in 1925 and is the nation's oldest and largest association of attorneys of color, representing a professional network of over 20,000 lawyers, judges, educators, and law students.
I. Clayvon Lighty is the editor-in-chief of Diversity & the Bar®. She is also the president of Lighty Communications Group, Inc. (LCG), a Maryland-based minority- and woman-owned company that specializes in publication management, editorial services, and commercial printing. Lighty is also the former managing editor of the ACC Docket, which is produced by the Association of Corporate Counsel.
HELP SUPPORT CRUMP LAW CAMP
The NBA needs your help in supporting the Crump Law Camp. The majority of the students who attend are from low- to moderate-income families. Tuition for the program varies depending upon family income and is waived for applicants from economically disadvantaged homes. Admission to the program includes transportation to Washington, D.C., housing, meals, education materials, and expenses for field trips. Therefore, the actual cost for the camp cannot be absorbed into tuition. Thus, your help is needed to ensure that tuition is affordable to everyone.
Contributions to the NBA Crump Law Camp are made payable to the National Bar Institute and are tax deductible. Your assistance will help the legal profession to begin reflecting the true diversity of this nation. For further information, please call 202-842-3900.
From the September/October 2004 issue of Diversity & The Bar®