NYLS Wins Recognition for Supporting Diversity in the Legal Profession

NYLS has been recognized by the Council on Legal Education Opportunity, Inc. (CLEO) for its outstanding commitment to diversity as a legal educator.

In honor of its 50th anniversary, CLEO, the longest-serving national organization committed to increasing diversity in the legal profession via legal education, selected winners of its EDGE Award in three categories: Education, Diversity, and Greater Equality in the legal profession.

NYLS was among 50 honorees in the Educator category. The winners will be recognized at CLEO’s annual gala this November in Washington, D.C.

Dean Anthony W. Crowell founded NYLS’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion in 2013. The Office is led by Ella Mae Estrada, Associate Dean for Enrollment Management, Financial Aid, and Diversity Initiatives, and includes three Deputy Diversity Officers: Shani Darby, Senior Director of Student Life; Aisha Joseph, Director of Career Planning; and Kitty Montanez, Associate Director of Human Resources. In addition to the trainings, roundtables, and recognition events the Office hosts, it is developing pipeline programs for high school students, college students, and working professionals.

In addition, Jorge Rodriguez ’12, a manager on NYLS’s Events Management and Business Operations teams, is serving on the New York City Host Committee for CLEO’s 50th Anniversary celebration. Rodriguez is an alum of the CLEO program and has been active in the organization since 2008.

CLEO was founded in 1968, when, as its website notes, the number of lawyers of color was less than 1 percent. For the last 50 years, CLEO has worked with high school, college, and law students on programming that includes mentorships, scholarships, and academic support. Alumni of these programs number more than 10,000.

Learn More

Read NYLS’s Institutional Diversity Plan.