Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 13

future [holds] for this school," Holley-Walker says. "We really want to make
sure that we're laser-focused on sending attorneys into areas of the law
where there are few African Americans."
Formerly a professor at Hofstra University Law School and associate dean
for academic affairs at the University of South Carolina School of Law,
Holley-Walker was appointed dean of Howard Law in 2014, a challenging
time in the school's history. Enrollment rates for the law school had
dipped, and bar passage rates were at risk. Under Holley-Walker's stewardship, the school took proactive steps to correct those issues, including
implementing a comprehensive program that significantly raised bar
passage rates for its graduates.
Howard Law also increased its immersion programs to provide students
with tangible, real-world experience; cultivated experienced faculty and
adjuncts; leveraged the school's alumni network to ensure students have
strong mentors and contacts; and further nurtured a collegial, exploratory
atmosphere that Holley-Walker calls a "living laboratory for justice."
Today's law students want assurance they'll be able to make an immediate impact when they graduate, Holley-Walker says. They also want to
accomplish their goals without being bogged down by heavy law school
debt, and they value work-life balance. "I want every graduate of Howard
Law to have meaning in their careers, balance in their work and personal
lives, and financial stability," she says.
Holley-Walker had been influenced by the historic institution long before
she stepped into her role as its dean. Her senior thesis at Yale University
focused on Charles Hamilton Houston, dean of Howard Law from 1929
to 1935, and his efforts toward creating a space for black lawyers.
"It's incredible that one person had this vision and could foster a meeting
place for black lawyers, faculty, and students in the face of Jim Crow,"
Holley-Walker says.
The daughter of academics, Holley-Walker understood early on that education was a tool for empowerment, especially within marginalized communities. She decided on legal education as a career, drawing on the
history of legendary civil rights attorneys such as Houston, Oliver Hill, and
Thurgood Marshall. "Lawyers have an outsized impact on positive societal
changes," she says.
Reflecting on diversity in the law, Holley-Walker worries that the legal profession is not making enough progress toward equitable representation,
citing the dwindling number of African American students in law schools.
It's time for the profession to take a hard look in the mirror, she says.
"If you're struggling with diversity, that's because there is not a commitment," Holley-Walker says. "And you have to ask yourself, what would it
mean for us to really commit?"
"This law school is proof that there is never an excuse to say we couldn't
find a qualified person to do this job because I can introduce you to alumni,
students, and faculty who are qualified for any job that you have," she adds.

CREATING A CULTURE OF INCLUSIVITY
For Renée McDonald Hutchins, dean of the University of the District of
Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law (UDC), representation is paramount,
stressing that more needs to be done to manifest diversity in the legal field.
"To the extent that we are bringing into the profession people who have
homogeneous life experiences, the law suffers because then what they

''

FEATURE

As dean, you're responsible for everything from
the most trivial to the most significant matters
in the law school. That intellectual pivot between
the practical, logistical matters and the high-level,
theoretical ones can be taxing but very exhilarating.
DEAN RENÉE McDONALD HUTCHINS
University of the District of Columbia
David A. Clarke School of Law

know as judges and as men and women is all too similar and doesn't
account for other people's narratives and other people's stories," she says.
Hutchins has had students confide in her that they feel empowered
seeing a person of color in a high-profile role.
For law schools to remain competitive and relevant, they must take the
lead on inclusivity, allowing for more nuanced and thoughtful decisions
and actions, instead of merely ticking off a box, she says.
When Hutchins was appointed dean of UDC Law in April 2019, she hit the
ground running by examining the law school's resources, abilities, strengths,
and present challenges. "As dean, you're responsible for everything from the
most trivial to the most significant matters in the law school," she says. "That
intellectual pivot between the practical, logistical matters and the high-level,
theoretical ones can be taxing but very exhilarating."
Prior to joining UDC Law, Hutchins was a professor at the University of
Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, where she was co-director of
the school's nationally recognized Clinical Law Program and founding
director of its Appellate and Post-Conviction Advocacy Clinic.
As the District's sole public law school and one of six historically black law
schools nationwide, UDC Law operates in a unique space, and Hutchins's
goal is to make it the "people's law school" - a top-flight public place for
intellectual engagement. While the school receives funding from the
District, Hutchins says one of her challenges is to ensure the school works
smartly and efficiently with its limited resources. But working with the
students makes the experience worth it, she says.
"I love our students . . . They have grit. They have life experience. They want
to make the world better, however that looks to them," Hutchins says.
"What I love about the law is its capacity to allow ordinary people to do
extraordinary things, and our students get that at an instinctual level. They
know that behind every case is a human being who struggled and needed
assistance, and the law helped them navigate those rough places."
Hutchins recognizes that the current generation of law students faces
a lot of challenges, coming of age in a turbulent era. "I hope this generation doesn't feel powerless and hopeless, but instead understands and
believes that if they work both individually and collectively, they can
make a difference, they can make the systems better, and they can
effectuate change," she says.
"As lawyers we have a remarkable ability to shape society, to define what
justice looks like, to be a voice for people who are frequently unheard, to
wield tremendous power," says Hutchins. "And if we do it correctly, it is an
amazing profession."

MARCH/APRIL 2020

*

WASHINGTON LAWYER

13



Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020

Digital Extras
Your Voice
From Our President
Practice Management
Calendar Of Events
Women of Impact feature
The Race to End Roe feature
Solar Power Access Feature
Taking the Stand
On Further Review
Global & Domestic Outlook
Member Spotlight – Joesphine Wang
Member Spotlight - Fatemah Albader
Worth Reading
Attorney Briefs
Disciplinary Summaries
Pro Bono Effect
Portraits of Suffrage's Overlooked Heroes
Community & Connections
Last Word
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 1
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 2
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 3
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Digital Extras
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Your Voice
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Calendar Of Events
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 9
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Women of Impact feature
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 11
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 12
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 13
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 14
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 15
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 16
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 17
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 18
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 19
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - The Race to End Roe feature
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 21
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 22
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 23
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 24
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 25
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Solar Power Access Feature
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 27
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 28
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 29
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 30
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 31
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 32
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 33
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 34
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Taking the Stand
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - On Further Review
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 37
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Global & Domestic Outlook
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 39
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Member Spotlight – Joesphine Wang
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 41
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Member Spotlight - Fatemah Albader
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 44
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 47
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Pro Bono Effect
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 49
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Portraits of Suffrage's Overlooked Heroes
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 51
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 52
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 53
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Community & Connections
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - 55
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Last Word
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - March/April 2020 - Cover4
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/march2020
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/january2020
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/november2019
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/october2019
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/september2019
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/julyaugust2019
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/june2019
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/may2019
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/april2019
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/march2019
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/january2019
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/november2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/november2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/november2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/august2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/august2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/June/July2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/april2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/March2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/February2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/january2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/december2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/November2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/september 2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/september 2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/august2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/july2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/June2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/may2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/april2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/march2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/february2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/january2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/december2016
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/november2016/
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/october2016
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/september2016
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com