Professors F. Michael Higginbotham and Michael I. Meyerson, founders of the UB School of Law’s Fannie Angelos Program for Academic Excellence, accepted the Diversity Leadership Award from the American Bar Association on May 3 at the ABA Section of Litigation’s annual conference in San Francisco.
The “two Mikes” began the program in 1995. Inspired by Baltimore lawyer Fannie Angelos, LL.B. ’51, the initiative finds talented young people and helps them to overcome obstacles on their path to becoming top-notch litigators and advocates.
The program works with Maryland’s four historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs — Bowie State University, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Coppin State University and Morgan State University.
Each year, eight applicants are chosen as Fannie Angelos Scholars, qualifying them to receive a full scholarship to the UB School of Law. The program also admits up to 72 additional HBCU students, enabling them to attend a rigorous LSAT review course.
“We do not consider ourselves a diversity program,” said DLA Piper Professor of Law and program director Michael Meyerson. “We are a talent search. We have found that if you discover talent and truly level the playing field, diversity will happen.”
The Fannie Angelos Program not only helps students from the HBCUs gain admittance to law school; it also encourages them to excel in law school and assists them in finding jobs upon graduation.
“Our students have overcome the odds,” Dean Joseph Curtis Professor of Law F. Michael Higginbotham said. “It could be poverty, racism or other socioeconomic barriers that present a significant obstacle to their success. Yet they still thrive. All of us have deep respect for what these students have achieved. They have a drive and a focus that shows through in so many ways.”
Learn more about the Fannie Angelos Program for Academic Excellence.