We Celebrate You, HBCUs!

Blank Rome-Hosted Virtual Event

Online Event

At Blank Rome, as part of our Black History Month celebration, we spotlighted the rich history and legacy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (“HBCUs”), recognizing that these institutions have produced leaders in the law and business.

On February 16, 2022, BR United, Blank Rome’s Multicultural Affinity Group, hosted an engaging discussion with an esteemed panel of leaders in the law and alumni of HBCUs about their legal career journey and how students can position themselves to enter the legal industry.


  1. There are over 100 HBCUs, located within 20 states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands.
  2. HBCUs graduate 40 percent of all black members of Congress and black engineers as well as 50 percent of black lawyers and 80 percent of black judges.
  3. 24 percent of STEM degrees earned by African American students come from HBCUs.
  4. Cheyney University of Pennsylvania is the oldest HBCU, founded in 1837.
  5. Omega Psi Phi was the first fraternity to be created at an HBCU in 1911.


  • Shawn Wright, Partner & Co-Chair, Litigation Department and Washington D.C. Office, Blank Rome LLP; HBCU Alumni of Howard University
  • James Barnes, Partner & Co-Chair of Pittsburgh Office and Diversity & Inclusion Committee, Blank Rome LLP; HBCU Alumni of Howard University School of Law


  • Nicole Monson, Senior Vice President, Equity and Engagement, The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.; HBCU Alumni of Spelman College and Howard University School of Law
  • Robert Collier, General Counsel, Rally; HBCU Alumni of Texas Southern University-Thurgood Marshall
    School of Law
  • Paula Barnes, Legal Counsel, Gucci; HBCU Alumni of Howard University School of Law
  • Christian Elloie, Associate GC, Global Head of Employment and Integrity, Policy & Ops, HP; HBCU Alumni of Southern University Law Center
  • Gena Ashe, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary, Anterix Inc.; HBCU Alumni of Spelman College


  • dj cruise control, HBCU Alumni of Prairie View A&M University

Questions about the event? Contact Krystal Studavent Ramsey, Director of Diversity & Inclusion.