What affinity groups are you active in?
I am a founding member of The Collective, a professional group of nearly 25 Black male lawyers who represent the best and brightest in private practice, clerkships and in-house counsel across New Jersey. The four goals and objectives of The Collective are: (1) to unite law students and lawyers of color to address the critical issue of improving diversity in the legal profession’s pipeline; (2) to promote mentorship and support of its members; (3) to assist members and lawyers of color with business development and navigating the legal profession; and (4) to inspire service in the public’s interest. We give out a yearly scholarship to a Black male law student from one of the three New Jersey law schools and meet monthly to give back to our community in a meaningful way. The Collective has become a forum for all of us to decompress, develop business, do good, and support one another.
What is an unexpected benefit of being a lawyer?
The most important thing in the legal field is relationships, and I have unexpectedly found fellow lawyers can be friends who turn into clients, and then mentors. I have friends who have become family and are invested in every part of my life, not just professionally.
Do you have any advice for others in the legal field?
I would like to see other versions of The Collective be formed by people of color in the legal field. If you feel your voice isn’t heard, band together and create a group of people who will be your biggest cheerleaders.