About

The CLEO EDGE

50 Years of Championing Education, Diversity, and Greater Equality in the Legal Profession

Our History

Founded in 1968 when the number of lawyers of color was less than one percent, the Council on Legal Education Opportunity (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 prep orientation. CLEO has produced more than 10,000 alumni who have excelled in every area of the legal profession to include judges, corporate attorneys, law school deans and professors, practitioners, politicians, and more.

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The Occasion

In 2018, CLEO will proudly celebrate its 50th Anniversary of bringing greater diversity to the legal profession. To help commemorate this historic occasion, the organization will host four distinct celebrations during the 2018 calendar year, including three regional receptions in the cities of Houston, San Francisco, and New York, and a culminating gala in Washington, DC, on November 15, 2018.

The CLEO Timeline

A Look Back at Our 50 Years

50th Anniversary Honorary Committee

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Nanette Diaz Barragán

Member of Congress
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Clarissa Cerda

Pindrop Security, Inc.
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Paulette Dodson

PetSmart, Inc./PetSmart Charities
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Al Green

Member of Congress
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Joseph Kennedy III

Member of Congress
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Sheila Jackson Lee

Member of Congress
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Victor McTeer

Civil Rights Attorney
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Karen Roberts

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
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Sandra Phillips Rogers

Toyota Motor North America, Inc.
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Leo Romero

University of New Mexico School of Law
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Frank E.A. Sander

Harvard Law School
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Bryan Stevenson

Equal Justice Initiative
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Paul Tagliabue

National Football League
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Kellye Y. Testy

Law School Admission Council
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Cleophus Thomas, Jr.

Attorney-at-Law
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Simone Wu

Choice Hotels International, Inc.

CLEO Board of Directors

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Angela Birch-Cox (Chair)

Houston Habitat for Humanity, Inc.
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Elizabeth A. Campbell

Campbell Soup Company
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Darryl L. Franklin

HMSHost
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Malcolm L. Morris

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School
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The Honorable Denise Owens

Fifth Chancery Court, Mississippi
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Yaneris M. Rosa

Honeywell International, Inc.
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Pamela V. Rothenberg

WOMBLE BOND DICKINSON
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Joyce Payne Yette

Promontory Financial Group

Advisory Council

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Yvette Gatling

Littler Mendelson
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Kevin Gooch

DLA Piper LLP – US
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Phyllis P. Harris

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
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Harold Henderson

NFL Player Care Foundation
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Wilhelm Joseph, Jr.

Legal Aid Bureau, Inc. – Maryland Legal Aid
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Natalie Pierce

Littler Mendelson
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Dennis Shields

University of Wisconsin-Platteville

CLEO Staff

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Cassandra Sneed Ogden

Chief Executive Officer
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Leigh R. Allen II

Vice President, Marketing & Development
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Lynda Cevallos

Director, Prelaw Educational Activities
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Bernetta Hayes

Director, Prelaw Program Operations
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Julie D. Long

Director, Finance and Administration