The Best Pre Law Advisor in America…

… is Adria Kimbrough. At Dillard University. Yes, she is my wife. No, I did not get in trouble and have to do something big to make up! LOL

She is very modest, but I have a front row seat of someone who has built a program from scratch and made it prominent in just a few years. I am convinced that any program can become great — the Xavier pre-med program is the classic example (y’all slept on what Dr. Carmichael did over there — he created a great blueprint). But most programs never achieve greatness because they don’t have a CHAMPION, a person who enthusiastically supports, defends, or fights for a belief or principle.

So why is she the best? Let’s look at the record.

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I chronicled the genesis of the program in December of 2016 at the end of her first year in the job officially, as she had voluntarily assisted students since we arrived in 2012. You can read my blog post (above).

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In fact, her volunteer work was part of the foundation for her winning the Louis A. Martinet award in July of 2016 from the Greater New Orleans Martinet Legal Society. It jumped started her first full academic year (2016–2017) in the role where…

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… she started a law scholars program with the Kulman Firm, a program targeted toward students of color from Louisiana who were beginning law school (1Ls).

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The pre law program got its own app! This was a creative way to share news and information to students, as well as a way to schedule appointments.

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And the launch of a mock trial team, making us the 5th HBCU with a team.

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The 2017– 2018 academic year began with a big grant by AccessLex for a diversity pipeline program. We were the first undergraduate institution to receive the grant, and first HBCU. It allowed us to develop a law school prep program for the 3 HBCUs in New Orleans.

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In January the first cohort of 20 students started with a retreat, completed an 8 week LSAT prep course with weekly practice tests, mentors, and in the fall of 2018 they participated in a law school admissions workshop with reps from a number of national law schools.

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The Mock Trial team entered its second season with some impressive pre-season showings…

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… followed by a strong regional tournament showing, earning a spot in the first championship round. While not advancing to the final championship round, the team ended up ranked nationally, after only two years.

And the 2017 -18 year ended like previous years — with an award.

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The American Bar Association awarded the pre law program for demonstrating “its commitment to diversity through a variety of initiatives aimed at building a pipeline for underrepresented students who seek to enter the legal profession.”

This past year (2018–2019) has established our pre law program, and our advisor, as the nation’s best.

In September, Adria was one of the keynote speakers at the 5th annual National HBCU Pre-Law Summit & Law Expo.

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The freshman heavy mock trial team placed 2nd at one contest…

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… and first at another.

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Adria was an invited speaker for the University of Cincinnati College of Law alumni speaker series,

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and recently selected by City Business as one of the 2019 Leadership in Law recipients.

There was a great national story about the program by Diverse Issues this spring, a big accomplishment in such a short time. But for me, all of this sounds good. The question should be, what are the results? Here are 4 graphs which show you this program is the real deal.

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This helps explains the full rides our pre law students received this year.

So why am I up chronicling this program? Well today, Adria was notified that she will receive ANOTHER honor.

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She is the best pre law advisor in the country. The reason? She is a champion for the students. She gets texts at all hours of the day and night. She leverages her relationships with law schools so they can get better scholarship offers. She takes mock trial students to get suits. She even brought snacks for students who took the LSAT on Monday.

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This is what a champion does. I shared a tweet from Karen Civil this week where she wrote “They may steal your idea but they can’t steal your execution.” In reality, we need lots of places to steal these ideas. But that’s the easy part. The hard part is being a champion for these ideas, because without that, you won’t get the results. And don’t underestimate the power of caring. If people know you care, they can do even more!

I’m biased, I know. But I won’t just say anything unless I can back it up (she’ll tell you that), and as you can see, there is a lot of proof for my claim. Plus I can point to countless students from other schools (you’d be surprised) who have struggled to get into law school and have been advised to contact her to see if she can help.

The simple truth is this: If you know someone who is serious and wants to successfully enter and complete law school, they need to come to Dillard. They have to do the work, or as Adria asks students, “Are you pre law or pretend?”

Adria Kimbrough. The best pre law advisor in America. Period.

The Prez

Written by

7th president of Dillard University

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