The Kullman Firm was recently asked to share some of its efforts to promote diversity in the legal industry in an article in the New Orleans Federal Bar Association’s newsletter The Advocate, written by M. Rebecca Cooper, Associate at The Kullman Firm.
Read below or click here to the article AS SEEN IN The Advocate.
INCLUSION IN ACTION: The Henry P. Julien, II Law Scholars Program
By M. Rebecca Cooper, The Kullman Firm
The Kullman Firm recognizes that creating a diverse legal field starts by promoting diversity in the legal pipeline. To that end, for the last eight years, The Kullman Firm has partnered with Dillard University, Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, and Tulane University Law School for its Henry P. Julien, II Law Scholars Program. The Program was created to assist students from underrepresented groups in achieving academic success in their first semester of law school. In 2020, the Program was renamed to honor the legacy of the late Henry P. Julien. Mr. Julien was the first African American shareholder with The Kullman Firm and an advocate for civil rights and social justice.
In July 2022, the Program hosted 26 soon-to-be first-year law students from diverse backgrounds at Tulane and Loyola for a week-long “bootcamp” on campus. There, the Julien Law Scholars learned how to prepare for classes, took a mini-class on criminal law taught by Professor Angela A. Allen-Bell from Southern University Law Center (complete with graded exam!), heard perspectives from associates at local law firms and current law students, received one-on-one feedback regarding resumes, and learned how to build their law school budget. The Julien Law Scholars also enjoyed meeting and learning from esteemed judges, including Chief Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown of the Eastern District of Louisiana, Judge Sandra Cabrina Jenkins of the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal, and Judge Ethel S. Julien of Orleans Parish Civil District Court (who was Mr. Julien’s wife for over 30 years).
At the end of the Program, The Julien Law Scholars gained valuable insight into what to expect from law school, made friends with their classmates before the start of the semester, and networked with members of the local legal community. The Kullman Firm knows that these students have a bright future ahead of them and can’t wait to see where they go next!
In addition to the Julien Law Scholars Program, as part of its commitment to advance diversity within the legal profession, in 2020, the Firm established The Kullman Firm Scholarship, a one-time grant awarded each summer to a Dillard University graduate with an interest in social justice, who will be attending law school, to assist with the cost of the first year of law school. In 2022, The Kullman Firm awarded the Scholarship to Holly Neely, who is now in her 1L year at Loyola. Neely, a first generation college student who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, impressed the Scholarship Committee with her 3.9 undergraduate GPA, which she maintained while employed full-time throughout her undergraduate studies. Neely is grateful to The Kullman Firm because the Scholarship helped her to attend law school without having to worry financially. Neely also participated in the Firm’s Julien Law Scholars Program and commented that throughout her first semester, she felt prepared because of all she learned before the first week of law school. During finals, she remembered the encouragement she got during the Program that “it’s her destiny to become a lawyer,” which helped her to trust that she is capable of doing a good job as long as she puts forth the effort. The Kullman Firm is proud of Neely and knows that she has a promising legal career ahead of her.
1 Mr. Julien achieved many “firsts” as an African American, including being one of the first full time African American Assistant Attorney Generals in the State of Louisiana, the first full-time African American Assistant District Attorney in New Orleans and the first African American General Counsel for the Commissioner of Insurance. Additionally, in 2018, after being appointed by the Louisiana Supreme Court to serve as Judge Pro Tempore on the Orleans Parish Civil District Court, Mr. Julien and his wife were the first husband and wife to serve simultaneously on the same court in the State of Louisiana.
See https://obits.nola.com/us/obituaries/nola/name/henry-julien-obituary?id=33507669 (last visited March 30, 2023).