Evangeline M. Mitchell was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and raised in Houston, Texas. She attended the DeBakey High School for Health Professions, and then graduated magna cum laude from Prairie View A&M University, a historically Black university near Houston. She went on to earn her doctorate of jurisprudence from the University of Iowa College of Law. At Iowa, she earned membership on the Iowa Law Review and chaired Phi Alpha Delta’’s Law-Related Education (LRE) Program. She studied international and comparative law abroad with the University of Iowa Bordeaux Summer Program (Arcachon, France) and participated in the London Law Consortium Semester Study Abroad Program (London, England) and in their British Legal Externship Program where she worked with a British barrister. She also spent a semester as a visiting student at the University of Houston Law Center. Additionally, she earned a master of education with a concentration in administration, planning and social policy from Harvard University.
Evangeline’s varied work experience spans international secondary education, higher education, and law. Her most memorable work experience includes team teaching in various Japanese senior high schools and speaking at regional and national conferences on integrating multicultural education in the classroom through the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme. A student of the Spanish language, she has studied Spanish and Mexican culture in homestay programs and at various institutions throughout Mexico including Academia Falcon Spanish Language Institute (Guanajuato, Guanajuato), Universidad Autónoma Benito Juárez de Oaxaca (Oaxaca, Oaxaca), and Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (Distrito Federal, Ciudad de México). She taught English at the Instituto Londres (Tepeapulco, Hidalgo). Further, she participated in the Swarthmore College Black Cultural Center’s travel abroad program to several destinations throughout Ghana, West Africa.
Evangeline’s original plan was to pursue her doctorate degree at Harvard and then dedicate her professional career to working in higher education administration concentrating on international, diversity and multicultural issues, while remaining active in her passion to help future Black law students and providing pro bono legal service to those in underserved communities. However, she made the difficult and courageous decision to indefinitely postpone her plan to continue her education in order to follow her heart and fulfill her personal commitment to never forget what it felt like to want to become a lawyer and not have guidance or mentorship. She made a promise to herself as an undergraduate to hold onto a sense of social responsibility to always reach back. As a first-generation college and law school graduate, she felt strongly about the need to do more outreach and provide practical assistance to those who fully have the potential but were disadvantaged because they were not from college-educated families or who didn’t know lawyers, particularly African Americans. She wanted to help them to better understand and prepare for the very real challenges of pursuing a legal education and coping with the additional stresses of being Black in predominantly White law school and legal environments.
Therefore, Evangeline has spent the past several years as a mission-driven “social entrepreneur” dedicated to building the Black Pre-Law brand of products, events, and services centered on helping Blacks better understand the realities of law school and what it takes to become more excellent, strategic, and competitive law school applicants and law students.
Evangeline started her own publishing company, Hope’s Promise Publishing, the only niche publisher focused on creating and publishing accessible books geared specifically to aspiring Black lawyers. She has written and/or edited four books including The African American Pre-Law School Advice Guide, Profiles & Essays of Successful African American Law School Applicants, The African American Law School Survival Guide and Conquering the Bar Exam. She is currently working on several book projects including Conquer the LSAT!, African Americans and the Law School Experience, and 100 Successful African American Lawyers which all feature the advice of hundreds of Black law students and lawyers.
She also founded The National Black Pre-Law Conference and Law Fair (www.blackprelawconference.com), a comprehensive national information-sharing and networking conference that has impacted over 1,000 aspiring law students nationwide. In addition, she founded Black Pre-Law Magazine (www.blackprelawmagazine.com), the National Black Pre-Law Network (www.blackprelawnetwork.com), and the National HBCU Pre-Law Project (www.hbcuprelawproject.com). A budding filmmaker and producer, her video/film projects in the works include African Americans and the Law School Experience and The Black Lawyers Legacy Project (www.blacklawyerslegacy.com).
She began work on her first book project, interviewing and shooting video footage of the experiences of classmates, and talking to high school students about the path to law school while she was still a law student.
Prior to her recent efforts, she created and advised the National Association of Future Black Law Students, ran an e-mail mentorship program that linked pre-law students with attorney mentors, and started an informational website called For Future Black Law Students: Information and Support Network.
Evangeline is a licensed attorney, certified mediator, speaker/trainer, and strategic planning coach. She is a fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, a two-time Houston Bar Association Equal Access Champion (for dedicated pro bono legal service), and a Harvard University alumna interviewer. She serves on the boards for nonprofit organizations including the National Association of Black Female Entrepreneurs (an organization which encourages and supports Black female entrepreneurship), the Manhood Achievement Network (an organization focused on providing positive role models and mentorship to Black teens), and Civic Frame (an organization that uses media arts to incite discussion on important social issues). She is a member of several bar and business associations. She is also leading efforts to encourage national and global community service.
She is married to her best friend Michael Means, and has two young children: a daughter, Nyla (four years old), and a son, Michael II (one year old).
Evangeline’’s favorite hobby is traveling nationally and internationally and learning about the culture, history, and people of the places she visits. She wants her legacy to be that of a loving wife and mother, a caring mentor, a “world citizen” committed to doing international mission work, and a lifelong learner who cared deeply about helping others, and who contributed significantly to assisting African Americans with college, law school, and entrepreneurial aspirations. For Evangeline, true success is measured not only by her own personal accomplishments – but by service – the lives she can touch, and the people she can help empower so that they can achieve their goals. Evangeline can be reached via her website at www.evangelinemitchell.com.