CLEO gears up to mark anniversary

The Council on Legal Education Opportunity, Inc. (CLEO), an organization for preparing minority and economically disadvantaged students to become successful legal practitioners, will commemorate its 50th anniversary with a gala affair Nov. 15 at the Ritz Carlton, Washington, D.C.

Founded in 1968 when the number of lawyers of color was less than one percent, CLEO has worked to increase the number of lawyers from diverse backgrounds for the last half century.

Although best known for its Pre-Law Summer Institute “boot camp,” CLEO provides services to high school, pre-law, and law school students which include mentoring, placement assistance, academic counseling and support, scholarships, and bar preparation orientation.

CLEO has produced more than 10,000 alumni who have excelled in every area of the legal profession to include judges, cor, professors, practitioners and politicians.  

“We are excited about celebrating this historic and significant milestone,” said CLEO CEO Cassandra Sneed Ogden. “During 2018, we will celebrate our past, present, and future with our alumni, friends, and supporters around the country.” 

To help launch the celebration, the board of trustees of the Law School Admission Council committed to match all donations made to CLEO to commemorate its anniversary, up to $150,000.

“LSAC has a longstanding and deep commitment to increasing diversity in and access to legal education, and CLEO has been our partner in these efforts since its inception. We invite all who support CLEO’s efforts to join us in celebrating the occasion of CLEO’s 50th anniversary,” said Kent Lollis, LSAC’s executive director for diversity initiatives.

In addition to the gala, the anniversary theme, “The CLEO Edge — Championing Education, Diversity and Greater Equality,” will be celebrated at regional receptions in Texas, California, and New York.