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Largo, MD — October 17, 2018 — CLEO alumna California Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán will be honored as an outstanding proponent of Greater Equality at the Council on Legal Education Opportunity, Inc.’s 50thAnniversary CLEO EDGE Awards Gala on November 15, 2018, at The Ritz Carlton Washington, DC.  Barragán, who represents California’s 44th District, will also be a presenter during the gala.  The awards gala will highlight the three pillars which are the foundation for the organization’s purpose:  Education, Diversity and Greater Equality.  Fifty other individuals and organizations in each category will also be honored at the event.  Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. will receive the CLEO EDGE Heritage Award which will be hereafter named for Jordan.Barragán, a first-generation college graduate, is one of the many thousands of program participants of CLEO’s Pre-Law Summer Institute.  CLEO is the preeminent organization for preparing persons from traditionally under-represented racial and ethnic groups, low-income, and disadvantaged communities to become successful legal practitioners.  Barragán spent six weeks in the CLEO Pre-Law Summer Institute at the Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law in 2002.

“As an alumna of CLEO, I know firsthand the difference CLEO makes to develop the necessary edge in law school that leads to success like it did for me and so many other students,” said Rep. Barragán. “Programs like the Prelaw Summer Institute, which prepares aspiring law students for law school by giving them a mock law school experience, was extremely beneficial for me and gave me a head start. I extend my most profound gratitude to CLEO for continuing the long tradition of assisting students. The impact that you have left on us will never be forgotten.”

“Not only are we pleased to honor the Congresswoman, we also are so very proud of her accomplishments and her success,” commented Cassandra Sneed Ogden, CEO of CLEO, Inc. “We are always pleased to see CLEO’s alumni in leadership roles nationally.  Our motto, ‘Training tomorrow’s lawyers, Preparing tomorrow’s leaders,’ is more relevant every day.”

Barragán has had a varied legal and political career.  She worked for Latham & Watkins, LLP, considered one of the most prestigious and profitable law firms in the world.  After Hurricane Katrina, Barragán provided pro bono assistance concerning insurance claims to victims of the hurricane.  She also worked for AlvaradoSmith APC, one of the largest minority-owned law firms in California. She was the first Latina ever elected to the Hermosa Beach, California, City Council, and the Mayor of the city.  The Congresswoman was catapulted into the media headlines, the legal community, and the nation by her win to Congress.  She also has been a commentator on CNN.

About the Council on Legal Education Opportunity, Inc.
CLEO, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization committed to diversifying the legal profession by expanding legal education opportunities for persons from traditionally under-represented racial and ethnic groups, low-income, and disadvantaged communities. Founded in 1968, when the number of lawyers of color was less than one percent, CLEO has produced more than 10,000 individuals who have excelled in every area of the legal profession and include judges, corporate attorneys, law school deans and professors, practitioners, politicians, and more.  2018 is CLEO’s golden anniversary.  More information about CLEO’s 50th Anniversary, the Greater Equality nominees, or how to purchase gala tickets can be found at
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Bernetta J. Hayes
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