Published on September 21, 2015 by Mary Wimberley  
Paulette Brown portrait

American Bar Association president Paulette Brown will address students at Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law Thursday, Sept. 24, at 11 a.m.  The event, presented by Cumberland’s Cordell Hull Speakers Forum Series, will be in the John L. Carroll Moot Courtroom of Robinson Hall law building. The public is invited free of charge.

Brown, the first woman of color to hold the top ABA post, will speak on the topic, “Diversifying the Legal Profession during Difficult Times.” She will address the challenge of persuading minority students and others to pursue a legal career when discouraging entry-level employment and compensation data cause many to pursue other options.

Her Samford audience will include 24 students from Birmingham’s Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School.

Brown is a partner and co-chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee at Locke Lord LLP in New Jersey.

Her ABA leadership positions include longtime membership in the ABA House of Delegates and service on the Board of Governors and its executive committee and governance commission. As a member of the Commission on Women in the Profession, Brown was co-author of a study, “Visible Invisibility: Women of Color in Law Firms.” She has chaired councils and commissions that address racial and ethnic justice as well as civic education in the nation’s schools.

Brown was installed as ABA president in August. See her complete biography here.

During her 35-year legal career, she has been in-house counsel to Fortune 500 companies and has served as a municipal court judge.  Her practice has focused on all facets of labor and employment and commercial litigation.

Brown was recognized by the National Law Journal as one of the 50 most influential minority lawyers in America and by U.S. News and World Report as one of the best lawyers in America in the area of commercial litigation.  She is a graduate of Howard University and Seton Hall University School of Law.

Lawyers may receive one hour of continuing legal education credit for attending the lecture. Following the talk, a reception will be held in the Great Room on the second floor of the law school building.

Brandi Russell, a third-year law student from Birmingham, is chair of Cumberland’s Cordell Hull Speakers Forum Series.