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The State of FAMU Law Address




November 18, 2021

ORLANDO, Fla – Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law is strong, robust and evolving, said Dean Deidré Keller during her first State of the College address Wednesday.

Keller, who was appointed dean in July 2020, spoke at events to mark the kickoff of the law school’s 20th anniversary. Highlights included presentations of $285,084 in donations and pledges from key community partners to advance the law school’s mission to educate leaders who advocate for justice in their community for the current academic year.



Dean Deidré Keller gives the State of FAMU Law address


“We are very appreciative of all of the support we received to enhance FAMU Law,” Keller said. “These funds will help to provide scholarships, fellowships, and other academic programs that will benefit our great students and our deserving community.”

Speaking on behalf of the University administration, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Maurice Edington, Ph.D., said the history of the College is filled with triumphs and defeats, challenges and successes, and is truly indicative of the spirit of the University.

“In the two decades since FAMU Law was reestablished, we have had cause to celebrate, as well as time to reflect, refocus and rededicate our efforts,” Edington said. “However, the essence of who we are cannot be quieted and we are making every effort to continue to produce high-performing, skilled attorneys who serve our communities with the same commitment and determination to succeed as our original 57 graduates.”

The strength of the College of Law is reflected in its growing list of community partners. Thanks to a $110,000 contribution from Wells Fargo Bank, law students will dedicate themselves to serving as Racial Justice Fellows and Economic Justice Fellows to address inequities in the community while gaining practical experience.

“Our financial investment launches the FAMU College of Law’s Economic Justice Initiative to help Black, minority-owned businesses, especially in the Parramore community,” said Candice Simmons, vice president, community relations, Wells Fargo Bank. “Wells Fargo is also financially supporting Racial Justice Fellows who work for non-profits focused on fighting inequities.”



Provost Maurice Edington speaks to audience


Underscoring the importance of direct support for law students, several organizations donated or pledged funds for endowed scholarships. Amscot pledged $100,000 for the Amscot Alcee Hastings Legal Endowed Scholarship, which will honor the late U.S. Representative Alcee Hastings, a member of the FAMU College of Law Class of 1963. Once the scholarship in his honor is fully endowed, Hastings will become the second individual to be inducted into the College of Law Hall of Fame.

The law firm of GrayRobinson, P.A. pledged $25,000 to establish an endowed scholarship fund to support students who have demonstrated a commitment to public service and a dedication to the legal profession.

“As a law firm with over 50 years of service in Florida, it is important we support the education and career development of aspiring lawyers in our communities. At GrayRobinson, we are committed to investing in future generations of diverse students to create a truly inclusive legal profession,” said Dean Cannon, president and CEO of GrayRobinson.

Additional scholarship donations and pledges to FAMU Law included $25,000 to establish the Elbert Hatchett & Laurastine Hatchett Endowed Scholarship; $10,000 for the University Club of Orlando Foundation Endowed Scholarship; $7,584 from the FAMU National Alumni Association and its individual members; $5,000 from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc; and $2,500 from Turner Construction.

The FAMU College of Law is celebrating 20 years in downtown Orlando, having hosted its public opening in October 2002. Keller announced there will be 20 planned events leading up to the 20th anniversary celebration in October of 2022. Funding for the 20th anniversary kickoff events was provided by Wells Fargo.

For more information about the FAMU College of Law, please visit

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