Third-year Penn State Law student Michael James Jr. is one of only two law students recently named to the Lawyers of Color's Inaugural Hot List for the Eastern Region. The list recognizes promising junior to mid-level minority attorneys and law students under the age of 40 who are excelling in the legal profession.
The honorees were selected by a committee comprised of editorial staff and advisers and law school fellows and interns. The committee reviewed nominations from mentors, peers, and colleagues, and researched bar publications and legal blogs to identify candidates. It also considered attorneys who had noteworthy accomplishments or who were active in legal pipeline initiatives. Honorees will be profiled in the Hot List Special Issue (July 2013).
“Being selected to this group of distinguished and accomplished attorneys is quite an honor. I don't know what I did specifically to make it onto the list, but I'm glad my contributions are making a positive impact so early in my career,” James said.
James has served in several leadership roles at Penn State Law. He was elected by his classmates to serve as the 1L Representative in the Black Law Students Association (BLSA). He went on to serve as the president of BLSA and is now president of the Sports and Entertainment Law Society.
James’ interest in sports and entertainment law developed after attending a panel discussion at the NBLSA Conference and has continued to flourish throughout his time at Penn State Law. Last summer he worked at The Law Office of Jaia Thomas, a sports and entertainment boutique firm based in New York City. He has written several articles on various topics regarding sports and entertainment law and works as a research assistant at the Institute for Sports Law, Policy, and Research at Penn State.
"I am delighted to be collaborating with Mike on a current research project, concerning the unforeseen effects of baseball’s amateur draft on poor minority race athletes who have the potential to play professional baseball," said Stephen Ross, Lewis H. Vovakis Distinguished Faculty Scholar and director of the Institute for Sports Law, Policy and Research. "He is a mature and self-aware young man who, given his experience with the Black Law Students Association and the Sports Legal Society, was an obvious choice."
Lawyers of Color is a minority legal organization that works to promote exceptional minority lawyers through various media platforms. Founded as On Being A Black Lawyer, the organization has been recognized by the American Bar Association, National Black Law Students Association, and National Association of Black Journalists. Founded in 2008 as a news and resource center, the company has grown into a social media firm providing research, career development, and brand marketing opportunities to clients.