May 4, 2021

FormanWatkins Launches Diversity Pipeline Program

FormanWatkins is proud to announce our Diversity Pipeline Program, a three and a half day Program for Tougaloo College students interested in pursuing a career as a civil litigator. Our Jackson team hosted Clifford Benton, Ayanna Hill, and Tia Patrick in April for the 2021 Program. The students attended seminars which provided an overview of various aspects of “firm life.” The Program included sessions on civil litigation and FormanWatkins’ practice areas, along with discussions regarding the FormanWatkins’ Pro Bono, Recruiting, and Diversity & Inclusion committees.  The students were given a legal research assignment, and each prepared a written memorandum of their findings.  They were also assigned attorney mentors during the Program to facilitate discussions and to help with the research assignment.  The Program concluded with the students attending an in-person hearing in federal court before District Court Judge Carlton Reeves, who spoke with the students at the conclusion of the hearing. The Program achieved our collective goal of providing the students an up-close experience as to what life might be like as a civil litigator, to offer guidance about working in a formal law firm setting, and to form relationships that might benefit the students as they continue through law school.  FormanWatkins and Tougaloo plan to continue the Program next year and hope that it creates lasting relationships with the students. Clifford, Ayanna, and Tia are part of the Reuben V. Anderson Pre-Law Program at Tougaloo College under the direction of Jackson Attorney, Julian Miller.

More about FormanWatkins' Diversity Pipeline Program

Program Eligibility Requirements:

  • Members of a group traditionally underrepresented in law school and the legal industry;
  • Not currently enrolled in law school;
  • Currently enrolled as a junior or senior at Tougaloo College with a minimum GPA of 3.5; and
  • A Mississippi resident preferred but not required.

FormanWatkins Diversity Pipeline Program includes:

  • Civil litigation legal education seminar;
  • Panel of attorneys to answer questions regarding life as a civil litigator;
  • Attorney shadowing opportunities during meetings, court appearances and/or depositions;
  • Networking with practicing attorneys and current law students;
  • Stipend of $1,000; and
  • Mentorship during and after the program

For more information about or an application to participate in FormanWatkins Diversity Pipeline Program, please contact Holland Familia, Director of Marketing & Recruiting, via email,

Pictured below (left to right): Clifford Benton, Tia Patrick, Julian Miller, Ayanna Hill, Nick Giallourakis, and Mandi Murphy during the Program orientation session.