HOWARD UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW DEAN, DANIELLE HOLLEY-WALKER, ANNOUNCED TODAY THAT ALUMNA AND FIRST WOMAN ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, THE HONORABLE LETITIA “TISH” JAMES, WILL DELIVER THE KEYNOTE ADDRESS DURING HOWARD LAW’S CLASS of 2021 HOODING CEREMONY ON SATURDAY, MAY 8, 2021. JAMES WILL ADDRESS MEMBERS OF THE CLASS OF 2021 AND THEIR FAMILIES, FACULTY, STAFF, AND ALUMNI.
Howard Law Alumna Letitia “Tish” James To Deliver 2021 Hooding Ceremony Address
February 4, 2021 | Written by RaNeeka Claxton Witty
WASHINGTON (February 4, 2021) – Howard University School of Law Dean, Danielle Holley-Walker, announced today that alumna and 67th attorney general for the State of New York, the Honorable Letitia “Tish” James, will deliver the keynote address during Howard University School of Law’s Class of 2021 Hooding Ceremony on Saturday, May 8, 2021. James will address members of the Class of 2021 and their families, Howard Law faculty, staff, and alumni.
“The Howard University School of Law community is delighted to welcome back home our alumna, Tish James, to deliver the 2021 hooding ceremony address,” said Howard University School of Law Dean, Danielle Holley-Walker. “As the first African American woman ever to hold state-wide office in New York, Tish is an outstanding attorney, public servant and fighter for the people of New York state in her role as attorney general. Tish represents everything it means to be a Howard lawyer: visionary leadership, commitment to community, and using law as a tool to improve the lives of everyday people.”
Howard University School of Law will award 150 degrees, including 143 juris doctor degrees, two J.D./MBA degrees, and five LL.M. degrees.
“It my distinct honor to return to Howard School of Law and address the esteemed 2021 graduates,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James. “Howard’s history of civil rights leadership set me on the path of a legal career centered on social justice and public service. While I may have left the hallowed halls of Howard, this incredible institution has never been far from my mind or my heart throughout my career. My time as a Bison laid the foundation for the work I am doing today because I learned to stand up, fight back, and always speak truth to power. Congratulations to the Class of 2021, and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for you all.”
In 2013, James was elected Public Advocate for the City of New York and became the first woman of color to hold citywide office. As Public Advocate, James served as a watchdog over New York City government agencies and as an advocate for the City’s most vulnerable communities. She transformed the Public Advocate’s office to be a formidable engine for change.
Her office handled more than 32,000 constituent complaints and passed more legislation than all previous Public Advocates combined, including a groundbreaking law that banned questions about salary history from the employment process to address the pervasive gender wage gap. James successfully took on the gun industry by pushing New York City’s largest pension fund to divest from gun and ammunition retailers. She fought in court on behalf of children and families on issues including children in foster care, children with disabilities, and tenant protection. New Yorkers overwhelmingly elected James to a second term as Public Advocate in November 2017.
Prior to serving as Public Advocate, James represented the 35th Council District in Brooklyn in the New York City Council for ten years. As a Council Member, she passed the Safe Housing Act, legislation that forced landlords to improve living conditions for tenants in New York City’s worst buildings. She helped uncover the corruption behind the Office of Payroll Administration’s CityTime contract, a scheme that cost New York City more than $600 million. She also pushed through a revolutionary recycling package that included expanding plastic recycling, a new clothing and textile recycling program, and increased access to recycling in public spaces.
For more than 140 years, the Howard University School of Law has served as an advocate for social justice and as an architect of social change. It has produced more than 4,000 social engineers for 152 years, including the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, noted legislators, civil rights attorneys, mayors and public officials across the United States. In 2020, PreLaw Magazine ranked Howard Law No. 1 on its list of the Best Law Schools for African Americans.
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About Howard University
Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue more than 140 programs of study leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced one Schwarzman Scholar, three Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 11 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows and more than 165 Fulbright recipients. Howard also produces more on-campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit www.howard.edu.