Jissel Esparza Saucedo Named Inaugural Mitchell Williams Legal Diversity Fellow

Jissel Esparza Saucedo
University Relations

Jissel Esparza Saucedo

Dean Cynthia Nance has named Jissel Esparza Saucedo the Mitchell Williams Legal Diversity Fellow at the U of A School of Law. Esparza was selected in recognition of her consistent service, significant leadership potential and her consistent work to create an equitable playing field for minorities.

"Mitchell Williams is committed to supporting the University of Arkansas School of Law in its diversity initiatives," said Melissa Bandy, chief diversity officer at Mitchell Williams. "Our goal in establishing the Legal Diversity Fellowship is to support law students committed to increasing diversity in the school through mentorship, recruitment, programming and working with the school's administration to foster a culture of inclusion and belonging. Through this fellowship program, we have the opportunity to help advance diversity in the legal profession."

Mitchell Williams has committed to funding a diversity fellow at the school for the next three years. Each year the dean will select a student with a demonstrated commitment to promoting diversity to serve in this role during his or her third year of law school. The title, along with a stipend, recognizes and supports exemplary students with the aim of keeping the importance of diversity in the forefront of the minds of members of the law school community.

"I am greatly honored to have been selected as the 2022-2023 Mitchell Williams Legal Diversity Fellow," Esparza said. "I look forward to working with the law school administration and community partners to ensure we are creating an environment that fosters diversity, inclusivity and equality for all. I am thrilled I get to spend my time in law school contributing to my community for such an important matter."

"Jissel's commitment to increasing diversity in the legal profession is inspiring," said Greneda Johnson, director of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging at the School of Law. "I look forward to working with her as we continue to build an inclusive culture to promote and improve diversity within the legal community. We are very thankful to Mitchell Williams for funding the fellowship."

Esparza is a current staff editor of the Arkansas Law Review. She serves as the fundraising director for the Women's Law Student Association and as treasurer of the student chapter of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. Originally from Jonesboro, Esparza played a critical role in developing the curriculum for the U of A Constitution Day efforts in Pine Bluff and Osceola High Schools—a program designed to heighten awareness of law as a profession in the Arkansas Delta region and other communities in need of resident legal professionals. She is a 2021 graduate of the Sam M. Walton College of Business and holds a BSBA with a double major in accounting and finance.

About the School of Law: The law school offers a competitive J.D. as well as an advanced LL.M. program, which are taught by nationally recognized faculty. The school offers unique opportunities for students to participate in pro bono work, externships, live client clinics, competitions, and food and agriculture initiatives. The school strives to identify, discuss, and challenge issues of race, color, ethnicity, and the impact(s) they have on students, faculty, and staff members in an effort to achieve a diverse, inclusive, and equitable community. From admitting the Six Pioneers who were the first African American students to attend law school in the South without a court order to graduating governors, judges, prosecutors, and faculty who went on to become President of the United States and Secretary of State, the law school has a rich history and culture. Follows us at @uarklaw.

About Mitchell Williams: Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C. is a full-service corporate law firm providing strategic, comprehensive legal counsel for everything from day-to-day needs to the most complex, specialized business matters. Established in 1954, the firm has offices in Little Rock, Rogers and Jonesboro, Arkansas and Austin, Texas. For more information, visit MitchellWilliamsLaw.com.

About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas' flagship institution, the U of A provides an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion to Arkansas' economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and creative activity while also providing training for professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the U of A among the top 3% of U.S. colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation. See how the U of A works to build a better world at Arkansas Research News.



Jacqueline M. Stites, development program manager
School of Law
479-575-2814, jstites@uark.edu


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