Follow ACC Docket Online:  

CLEO Launches Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. Civil Rights Scholarship During 51st Anniversary

Photo by StreetzMedia, courtesy of Counsel on Legal Education Opportunity, Inc. (CLEO): Former Massachusetts Governor Deval L. Patrick (left) receiving the Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. CLEO EDGE Heritage Award from Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. (right)

On Nov. 22, 2019, the Council on Legal Education Opportunity, Inc. (CLEO), the longest-serving national organization committed to diversity in the legal profession, recently launched the Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. Civil Rights Scholarship to assist first-year law students who are passionate about protecting the civil rights of all Americans.

The scholarship was announced during the 51st Anniversary CLEO EDGE Honors Reception during which Jordan personally presented the Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. CLEO EDGE Heritage Award to Deval L. Patrick, the 71st governor of Massachusetts and 2020 US presidential candidate. Nine other individuals and organizations were also recognized for their outstanding commitment to diversity, education, and greater equality.

In presenting the award to Deval Patrick, Jordan noted: “Deval is the first African American governor of Massachusetts and just the second in the history of America. From his days at Milton Academy to Harvard Law School, this young man has embodied a belief in education and leadership, and like many CLEO students, Deval was the first in his family to attend law school.”

The scholarship is in recognition of Jordan’s more than 50 years of service to the legal profession and lifetime commitment to improving the quality of life for individuals from underserved communities. Jordan became a trailblazer in the civil rights movement in the early 1960s after graduating from Howard University School of Law. A practicing civil rights attorney, he joined the NAACP as a field director early in his career, working to end discrimination, increase voter registration, and change laws to support legislation beneficial to all Americans.

“The cornerstone of this scholarship will be the recipients’ passion for safeguarding the civil rights of all Americans, but especially those who are disenfranchised,” said Cassandra Sneed Ogden, CLEO’s CEO. “We anticipate this scholarship to attract large numbers of students who believe in social justice and who want to give back to their communities.”

CLEO’s goal is to present 10 scholarships next year. Scholarship recipients will be announced in July 2020. More information about CLEO and its programs can be found at

Have an upcoming or recent event you would like featured in the Docket? Email Assistant Editor Danielle Maldonado at [email protected].

The information in any resource collected in this virtual library should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on specific facts and should not be considered representative of the views of its authors, its sponsors, and/or ACC. These resources are not intended as a definitive statement on the subject addressed. Rather, they are intended to serve as a tool providing practical advice and references for the busy in-house practitioner and other readers.