CLS Honored For Commitment To Diversity

New York, NY -- Columbia Law School is the first recipient of the National Bar Institute's Educational Advancement Award. The award was presented on November 14, 2002, at the inaugural Honorable A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr. Awards Gala, where Ford Motor Company was also recognized for its commitment to corporate responsibility, Court TV for its "Real to Reel" legal images, and The Gary Foundation for their dedication to public service.  The dinner gala drew a large group ranging from educators to entertainers to professionals, and included performances from "Harlem Song," currently playing at the famed Apollo Theatre.

"Columbia Law School takes pride in its rich and diverse student-body and faculty," said David Leebron, Dean and Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law. "To be acknowledged for our achievements by the National Bar Institute is a great honor."

The Educational Advancement award is presented to the individual or institution that seeks to promote excellence in legal education by establishing a solid foundation for individuals to achieve intellectual, social and civic success. According to the National Bar Institute, Columbia was selected because, "diversity is evident in the urban aesthetic and global reach of Columbia Law School programs."

Columbia Law School, founded in 1858 and one of the oldest law schools in the U.S., was also praised for its "exceptional opportunities in human rights education and public interest law." The National Bar Institute is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1982 by Mary Alice Grisham, Carolyn Y. Howard, and Frank Seales, Jr. The organization was established to educate the public concerning legal issues, to ensure the quality of legal educational opportunities for all Americans, and to enhance the quality of legal services provided to people of color and the poor.