Tag: African-American Lawyers

Keli L. Knight, Yondi K. Morris and Jessica Roddick Start KMR Law Group, an African-American, Female-Owned Law Firm in Chicago

KMR Law Group
KMR Law Group (photo via clutchmagonline.com)

KMR Law Group, a Chicago-based boutique law firm, was started two years ago by three African-American female lawyers, Keli L. KnightJessica B. Reddick and Yondi K. Morris.

And it all began with a single tweet! A frustrated Morris tweeted, “I need to start my own firm” and Knight retweeted and replied with, “Are you serious?” Morris and Knight then got together and exchanged ideas and Morris contacted Reddick, an old college friend shortly thereafter. The three women met at a café and on a napkin (a napkin!) devised a plan to make their dreams come true.

Being young in the industry they faced a few challenges, such as people assuming they did not have enough experience and others assuming they lacked professionalism because of their ages. One challenge in particular which concerned Morris was being taken seriously in a male-dominated field but this dynamic group overcame those challenges as they began to focus on the future of their business.

Knight, Morris, and Reddick are true businesswomen, working with a large array of individuals and businesses and their expansion plans for the future include establishing firms on the east and west coast.

These women have quickly become a force to be reckoned with and the story of their small, but growing empire came about is an inspiration to us all and a reminder that there is power in the tweet.

article via clutchmagonline.com

Harvard Law Student Cortlan Wickliff Graduates at 22

Cortlan Wickliff says he wants to own and operate a medical device company.

CAMBRIDGE — On a recent Wednesday afternoon, 22-year-old Cortlan Wickliff walks into a pizzeria looking every bit the college student, with headphones, braces, and slightly overgrown hair. Finals are over, and there’s not much to do but have dinner with friends and watch movies, lots of movies, until graduation.

Oh, and start studying for the bar exam. When Wickliff dons his cap and gown, regalia his mother had to remind him to order, the Texas native will be one of the youngest African-Americans ever to graduate from Harvard Law School. Wickliff was 19 when he graduated from Houston’s Rice University with a degree in bio­engineering in 2010. That fall he started law school, but said the age gap with his classmates, about five to six years, was not the biggest issue.

“Being at a school where there aren’t any right answers when you have been in engineering or sciences classes, that’s a bit of a change,” he said with a shrug. “School was different because of my engineering background, being from the South, being from Texas, rather than different because of my age.”

There is no age requirement for admission to Harvard Law; school administrators said the average age in the graduating Class of 2013 is 27. Students need strong test scores and grades. But more than anything, they must show an aptitude for advocating a point of view, something proven through work experience, extra­curricular activities, volunteering, leadership positions.

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