Ebony Names Law Student One of 30 Leaders Under 30

February 3, 2006
Third-year law student Raqiyyah Pippins was named a top young leader in Ebony's February issue.

Third-year law student Raqiyyah Pippins, chair of the National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA), is spending her weekends these days hop scotching across the country to fulfill her duties as head of an organization that boasts more than 6,000 members nationwide. So it's no surprise to find her featured in Ebony magazine's "Young Leaders: 30 for 2006" — no surprise to anyone, that is, except Pippins.

"I was totally shocked," she said. The other honorees are "such amazing people. It's definitely humbling."

U.Va. Law alum Kim Keenan '87, who met Pippins in her former role as National Bar Association president, recommended Pippins for the honor last fall.

"I had the opportunity to both observe and work with Raqiyyah in a variety of settings such as board meetings conferences and speaking engagements," Keenan said. "I was impressed with her ability to successfully navigate key issues at a national level while pursuing demanding legal studies at Virginia. I am confident that Raqiyyah will continue to make a difference throughout her career."

Although she knew of the recommendation, "I didn't even think anything would come of it," said Pippins, speaking via cell phone from an airport while on her way to a Madison, Wis., regional NBLSA convention. "I have to go somewhere every weekend between now and the end of March," she explained. "It's a little hectic, but I recognize that it comes with the territory."

Pippins was NBLSA's mid-Atlantic regional director last year, a post that second-year law student Kelly Booker now holds. In her Law School career, Pippins has served as a peer advisor and a volunteer for Action for a Better Living Environment. She was student-faculty relations co-chair for the Student Bar Association and is an articles editor for the Virginia Sports & Entertainment Law Journal. She plans to work for law firm Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C., after graduating.

Since the February issue of Ebony came out, Pippins has been hearing from high school friends and family members who are excited for her success. "It's really been an amazing experience, with people being happy for me and celebrating with me."

Pippins also recently found out that she's been invited to the International Achievement Summit, joining second-year law students Vanessa Kolbe and Brent Savoie for the June 2006 event. With the NBLSA convention around the corner in March, she's sporting a professional's schedule even before she begins her legal career.

"I guess I'm going to do it all now before I start studying for the Bar."

See related story: "Pippins to Chair National Black Law Students Association."

Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.

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