Campus News

Dillard gears up for second annual National Law School Signing Day

Dillard University Justice Revius O. Ortique Jr. Mock Trial Center. Photo: Sabree Hill/Dillard University.


April 5, 2023
Contact: Eddie Francis, 


NEW ORLEANS — For a second year, students in Dillard University’s Legal Education Advancing Diversity (L.E.A.D.) Program will reveal the law schools they plan to attend. Eight students will reveal their selections Wednesday, April 12 at 11 a.m. in the Harold and Rhea Lucien Pavilion located in the Professional Schools and Sciences Building at Dillard’s National Law School Signing Day. The event will also be streamed on Dillard Live. The L.E.A.D. Program is housed in the Dillard University Pre-Law Program.

All in their senior year, the students who will make their announcements are:  Trinity AlexanderDeAndré K. Bell IISpencer JonesValesha RhodesJaylah RichieChasity WashingtonPaulina Webber, and Alexis Whittaker.

Dillard Pre-Law Program director, Dante Butler, Esq., said that he came up with the idea of the signing day when he wanted to create ways to market the pre-law program in a way that would highlight the students’ academic success. He based the idea on the national signing days that are popular among high school football programs. “I thought it best to put our academic scholars on that type of pedestal and show the world that Dillard produces some of the best and brightest scholars in the nation. My hope is to show students that they can be center stage in front of lights and cameras, being cheered without having a ball in their hands.”

2022 National Law School Signing Day
Participants in the inaugural National Law School Signing Day with former Dillard Pre-Law advisor, Adria Kimbrough (left), and current director, Dante Butler (right)

Dillard Pre-Law has established a track record of success since its founding in 2016. At the inaugural National Law School Signing Day, seven scholars earned over $1 million dollars in scholarships. In 2021, the pre-law program announced that 93% of their students had been accepted into law schools. The following year saw 90% accepted, and the 2023 cohort is trending at 100% according to Butler. “This track record of success is due to the holistic approach we take in preparing our students for law school and beyond. From the (pre-law program’s) LSAT Bootcamp to being assigned attorney mentors, our students are being groomed for success from the first day they step onto Dillard’s campus,” said Butler. He also credits exposing the students to “law school level teaching.”

Dillard Pre-Law prides itself on its singular focus on diversifying the field of law. Butler points out that only 4.7% of attorneys in America are African American, a number that has not increased in over a decade. Including the heritage of its precursors, Straight University and New Orleans University, Dillard boasts a legacy of diversifying law and government. Current U.S. New York Eastern District judicial nominee, Orelia Merchant, is a Dillard alumna as well as:  late Louisiana Supreme Court justice, Revius Ortique Jr.; current U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals judge, Carl Stewart; Kirkland & Ellis partner and co-lead counsel for the Maryland HBCU lawsuit, Michael D. Jones; and current Federal Elections Commission chair, Shana Broussard. Louisiana’s first African American governor, P.B.S. Pinchback and civil rights advocates Louis Martinet and Rodolphe Desdunes were graduates of Straight’s law program.

For information on National Law School Signing Day, contact Dwan Jacque-Boucree at 504-816-4955 or

About Dillard University
Dillard University is a historically Black institution that cultivates leaders who live ethically, think and communicate precisely, and act courageously to make the world a better place. Located in New Orleans, Dillard is a private faith-based liberal arts university that offers 22 majors and two certificate programs. Ranked 5th on 2021 The New York Times Overall Mobility Index and 14th in 2022 by Academic Influence for Best Colleges and Universities by Academic Stewardship, Dillard’s call to future leaders is to Write Your Legacy. Find out more about Louisiana’s oldest HBCU by visiting