Legal counsel to NYPD Commissioner to speak at WMU-Cooley


Edna Wells Handy, legal counsel to the New York Police Commissioner William J. Bratton, will present the Keynote during WMU-Cooley Law School’s Black Law Students Association’s (BLSA) 19th Annual Charles Hamilton Houston Black Tie Affair, 7 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 24, Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center, 219 S. Harrison Road, East Lansing.

Before serving as counsel to Bratton, Handy was appointed as commissioner of the city’s Department of Citywide Administrative Services by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Handy served as deputy executive director for human resources at the city’s Department of Education, where she led a redesign of the Division of Human Resources and a series of diversity initiatives.

She has served as general counsel and vice president for legal affairs at the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation and as general counsel for the New York State Conference of NAACP Branches.

BLSA hosts the Charles Hamilton Houston Black Tie Affair each fall to acknowledge the achievements of Charles Hamilton Houston’s fight against racial injustice. Houston’s most outstanding accomplishment came as NAACP’s counsel in the University of Maryland v. Murray case, which resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court ordering the University to admit African Americans into their law school. In addition to recognizing Houston, there will be opportunities for students to network with judges, attorneys and other community leaders from the Greater Lansing area.

The Lansing Chapter BLSA at WMU-Cooley Law School is a local chapter of the National Black Law Students Association. The Lansing chapter was established in 1982 by Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Thomas E. Brennan with the assistance of current 54A District Court Judge Hugh B. Clarke, Jr. and current Cooley President Don LeDuc. After more than 30 years, the WMU-Cooley Chapter is one of the largest chartered organizations at the law school. BLSA has continued with its mission of articulating and promoting the academic needs and professional goals of African American law students through its programs.

The cost of the Black Tie Affair is $50 per person.

To purchase tickets to the event, or to provide donations for scholarships, contact Yanique Kennedy at (407) 414-4337 or

More information is available at