“None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody…..bent down and helped us pick up our boots.”
The Commercial Law Section has given and continues to give back to the community in which it serves. As a part of its commitment to corporate responsibility, The Commercial Law Section often volunteers or makes significant donations in the cities where the annual conference is held. In 2008, The Commercial Law Section donated over $100,000 to Rebuilding Together New Orleans to rebuild homes devastated by Hurricane Katrina. In 2010, the members of the Commercial Law Section donated funds to buy books for a new library for a local inner city school in San Diego, California. The Section has been a historical sponsor for The National Bar Association Crump Law Camp, a program committed to exposing children of color to the legal profession. The Commercial Law Section has also given over $10,000 in scholarships to law students of color all over the country.
In 2003, The Commercial Law Section began the practice of partnering with local Black Law Students Associations to volunteer at the Corporate Counsel Conference and giving these soon to be lawyers the opportunity to connect with legal professionals of color from all over the country. These connections have led to the formation of mentoring relationships, summer clerkship opportunities and even employment.
In 2012 the Commercial Law Section launched the inaugural “Diversity Empowerment Scholarship Award.” The scholarship award fulfills the mission of the NBA and the Commercial Law Section by strengthening the pipeline for minority law students and also encourages involvement in the Commercial Law Section by familiarizing students with the Section’s activities. Additionally, the scholarship award serves to facilitate and encourage minorities to enter the legal profession by assisting minority law students in meeting the challenges and financial burdens of law school.