The year 1968 was a turning point in American history. The assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy, the Tet Offensive, and the first manned orbit of the moon rocked the status quo and motivated new generations to rewrite the future. That same year transformed Tulane Law School, which graduated its first African American student, Michael Starks, that May. A native New Orleanian, Starks went on to other firsts, including serving as the first African American lawyer in the City Attorney’s office of his hometown.
In the years since, Tulane Law School has graduated more than 1,000 African American students and more than 1,800 students of color. What began with one remarkable man now makes up roughly a fifth of all Tulane Law graduates since Starks’ graduation. Many of these graduates, like him, have gone on to careers of great distinction and impact—as leaders of law firms, judges, academics, public servants, and entrepreneurs—and have transformed communities across the nation.
In recognition of this historic milestone for Tulane Law, the inaugural Black Law Alumni Reunion: 50 Years of Achievement, took place Feb. 7-10, 2019.