Virginia State Bar

An agency of the Supreme Court of Virginia

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Young Lawyers Conference

A Conference of the Virginia State Bar.

Oliver Hill/Samuel Tucker Pre-Law Institute

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A joint initiative with the VSB’s Diversity Conference

With an ever-growing diverse population, the need for diversity in the legal profession has become even more important. Although a disproportionate number of minorities are affected by the criminal justice system, the membership of the bar is not proportionately comprised of minority members. In 2000, as a result of a recognized need for diversity in the legal profession, the Virginia State Bar President formed the Millennium Diversity Initiative (MDI). In 2001, at the request of the MDI, the Young Lawyers Conference implemented the Oliver Hill/Samuel Tucker Pre-Law Institute (the “Institute”). 


Named for legendary civil rights attorneys Oliver Hill and Samuel Tucker, the Institute reaches future lawyers at an early age to provide them with exposure and opportunity to explore the legal profession, all at no cost to the participants. The Virginia State Bar Diversity Conference was established in 2010 and became a cosponsor soon thereafter. When the Diversity Conference was approved for funding through the VSB in 2016, it started funding the Institute. The Institute is currently funded through the Diversity Conference and through generous grants from the Virginia Law Foundation, and the Institute is now a joint program of the Diversity Conference and the YLC.


For one week, high school students are introduced to the legal profession by living on a college campus and attending a number of mock classes (complete with overnight reading assignments) and seminars on career opportunities in the law, test taking strategies, and the college admissions process. The students meet with law school professors, judges, guest lecturers, and state and local bar association members.  The students participate in other programs geared to developing them as all-round professional individuals, such as a networking social, and an etiquette dinner. At the end of the week, the students participate in a mock trial based on pre-written trial materials used in national trial competitions. The Institute culminates in a graduation banquet where a prominent minority member of the bar is the featured speaker.


If you have questions about the Oliver Hill/Samuel Tucker Pre-Law Institute, please contact the Institute co-directors at


Interested in participating as a volunteer at the Oliver Hill/Samuel Tucker Institute? Please contact the Institute co-directors at