OXFORD, Miss. – Sandra Cox-McCarty, associate dean for administration and diversity initiatives in the University of Mississippi School of Law, has been honored nationally for her equality and diversity initiatives in legal education.
Cox-McCarty is among 30 individual recipients of Education, Diversity and Greater Equality, or EDGE, awards by the Council of Legal Education Opportunity. She got involved with the organization as a law student at Mississippi College and has served as a teaching assistant during CLEO’s pre-law institute at the University of Tennessee.
Her involvement and passion for the organization, which aims to increase minority representation in the field of law, led to her bringing the pre-law summer institute to the Ole Miss law school. During the four years it was held on campus, 2012-15, nearly 200 students participated.
“It’s an honor being selected for the CLEO EDGE award,” Cox-McCarty said. “I was just one of the many people behind hosting the program at the School of Law, and it was certainly a collaborative effort.”
The summer institute prepares students for law school by offering professional activities, extracurricular activities, exams and law classes to help smooth the transition and manage issues of anxiety surrounding law school.
“Several participants had never been to Mississippi, and this really changed the perspectives of our state and institution for some of the students,” she said.
During the program, Cox-McCarty helped ensure that students had a positive experience in preparing for law school.
“She would take time to meet with every student individually, visit them at their dorms, plan meaningful programming and even talk to CLEO students’ parents with questions they had about the program,” said Macey Edmondson, assistant dean for student affairs. “Once she commits to something, she will see it through.
“I could tell that CLEO was something she believes in and she wanted all of the students to succeed.”
Edmonson worked with Cox-McCarty during the CLEO program and nominated her for the award.
CLEO’s mission is to champion education, diversity and greater equality in the legal profession. The organization, founded in 1968, has implemented pre-law programs for prospective students, mentorships, placement assistance, academic support, scholarships and bar exam preparation, among other initiatives.
For more information about CLEO, visit https://cleoinc.org/.