ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida A&M University College of Law Interim Dean LeRoy Pernell, who has devoted more than 40 years to advancing opportunities for minorities in higher education, will be recognized this fall by two prestigious organizations.
Pernell has been selected as a National HBCU (historically Black colleges and universities) Pre-Law Hall of Fame Honoree for 2018. He will be recognized on Saturday, September 15, 2018, at the Fifth Annual National HBCU Pre-Law Summit and Law Expo 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. As an award recipient, he will be afforded the opportunity to share his compelling story of triumph with a large group of aspiring lawyers who attend or graduated from HBCUs from around the country.
He has previously served on panels for the National HBCU Pre-Law Summit, the only major national pre-law event created especially for students and graduates of HBCUs interested in law school and becoming lawyers. The organization addresses the unique issues, concerns and challenges of HBCU students and graduates, particularly with regard to the pre-law school process, law school admission, law school selection, the law school experience, as well as their post-law school career opportunities.
In addition to being named a National HBCU Pre-Law Hall of Fame Honoree, Pernell also has been selected to join the inaugural class of CLEO EDGE Honorees in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the field of education. The Council on Legal Education Opportunity, Inc. (CLEO) is the longest-serving national organization committed to increasing diversity in the legal profession via legal education.
CLEO is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year by honoring individuals and organizations that have contributed to education, diversity and greater equality in the legal profession. Pernell was selected from more than 200 nominees to receive one of only 50 awards in the education category. He will be presented the CLEO EDGE Award on Thursday, November 15, 2018, in Washington, D.C., where the inaugural Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. CLEO EDGE Heritage Award will be unveiled and presented to Mr. Jordan for his life-long commitment to Education, Diversity and Greater Equality.
“I have worked with CLEO and its nationally-recognized and awarded efforts to be the leading force for expanding access to legal education for minority applicants for over 40 years, and I am deeply humbled that it would choose to recognize me,” Pernell said.
Pernell was the director of the CLEO Regional Summer Institute four times between 1981 and 1992 while he was a law professor at The Ohio State University. Also, while at OSU, Pernell served as Vice Provost of the Office of Minority Affairs from 1994 to 1997.
Named interim dean at FAMU College of Law on May 2, 2017, Pernell previously served as dean from January 2008 through June 2015. He is credited with providing the stability that led to the law school acquiring full accreditation from the American Bar Association in 2009 and full reaccreditation in 2014. He also led efforts to advance the law school’s Academic Success and Bar Preparation Program. Under his leadership, the FAMU College of Law has been heralded for its diverse student body and faculty.
Prior to joining FAMU College of Law, he served 10 years as dean at Northern Illinois University (NIU), which was recognized nationally for its diversity efforts, expansion of technology into the classroom, the establishment of the clinical educational program, and the opening of the Zeke Giorgi Legal Clinic in Rockford, Illinois.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in government from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1971, and received his Juris Doctor from OSU College of Law in 1974.
Pernell is an elected member of the American Law Institute and past-trustee of the Law School Admissions Council. He is a member of the Bar in the State of Ohio, the United States District Court, Northern and Southern District of Ohio, the Sixth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of the United States.
He has written extensively in the areas of criminal procedure, juvenile justice, personal injury and sports law, and authored the Civil Procedure Forms Supplement for West Ohio Practice from 1978 to 1986. In 1992, U.S. Congressman John Conyers (Michigan) appointed him as the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Criminal Justice Brain Trust’s subcommittee on Juvenile Justice. He also served as a member of the Ohio Governor’s Commission on African American Males and the Governor’s Council on Juvenile Justice. He has also testified before the Criminal Justice Subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives.
In June 2018, Pernell was a distinguished member of a group of 50 Fourth Amendment scholars who endorsed an amicus brief supporting the petitioner’s position in an 8-1 Supreme Court victory regarding the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement.
About FAMU College of Law
The FAMU College of Law is located in the heart of Downtown Orlando, just steps from the George C. Young United States Courthouse and Federal Building; and blocks from governmental offices, major law firms, large corporations and legal service agencies.
The college’s prime location provides students with direct access to the area’s largest employers of individuals with law degrees, offering our students and graduates ample avenues to gain practical experience in the legal profession.
With tuition among the lowest of the 13 law schools in Florida, along with a full-time day program and a part-time evening program, the college is distinctly positioned to offer the traditional student and the working professional a chance to earn a law degree while accruing minimal debt.
The College of Law’s student body is diverse – 72 percent minority and 56 percent women – helping to enrich a campus community where intellectual freedom and self-discovery are encouraged. Thanks to its renowned faculty, the college focuses on academic excellence in the classroom; emphasizes practical experience and public service within its clinical programs; and stresses professionalism through its co-curricular activities.