The Multi-Bar Leadership Council (MBLC) Recognizes ELS Partner Jamala McFadden

Jamala McFadden addresses audience

Jamala McFadden and her son, Jamal


November 8, 2018–MBLC’S SETH KIRSCHENBAUM DIVERSITY AWARD recipients embody MBLC’s mission of fostering meaningful and positive interaction among diverse members of the Bar. This effort is demonstrated through the individual or entity’s leadership in programs and efforts that support diversity and inclusion. Specifically, the SK Diversity Award is given to an individual who or organization that:

  • Strives to invest and remain committed to minority members of the Bar through mentorship, coaching, and training
  • Takes an active role in supporting minority bar associations or in diversity committees of local or national bars
  • Participates in pro bono activities that have an impact on diversity within the profession and society in general
  • Employs a consistent pattern of recruiting, retaining, and hiring of diverse attorneys
  • Promotes diverse attorneys
  • Maintains an existence of overall diversity in the workplace
  • Cultivates a friendly climate within a law firm or organization toward diverse attorneys and others
  • Involves diverse members in the planning and setting of policy for diversity or
  • Considers and adopts plans to continue to improve diversity within the law firm or organization

Jamala was chosen to receive the 2018 Seth Kirschenbaum Award because of her unique contributions to diversity within the legal profession; her leadership and service in the Atlanta legal and broader communities; and her professional accomplishments.  For example, near and dear to Jamala’s heart is inspiring young people to pursue law. Jamala decided to become a lawyer after participating on her high school’s mock trial team, where she first met a lawyer and was exposed to the possibility of law as a career. Once she became a lawyer, Jamala decided to pay that gift forward.  For more than 10 years, Jamala served as the coach of Therrell High School’s mock trial team. In this role, Jamala provided more than 100 inner-city high school students exposure to the legal profession. She has also ignited the flame for many of her students to pursue a career in law. Her face lights up when she talks about the fact that one of “her kids” is studying for the bar exam and when another returned to the team as a law student to help coach. The feeling of adoration is mutual, as expressed by her former students: “I would have never imagined becoming an attorney without Ms. McFadden’s support. Her commitment to underprivileged communities encouraged me and so many of my former mock trial teammates to enter the legal profession.” ~ Darrius Woods, Esq.

Congratulations, Jamala!