As DEI Fellow, Amber Ezzell, JD expected ’21, is developing a strategic plan to help the administration at UNH Franklin Pierce institutionalize recommendations for a more inclusive community
As an undergraduate at the University of Virginia, Amber Ezzell served for three years as an intern at the Charlottesville-based University and Community Action for Racial Equity. There, she was involved in hosting community events aimed at facilitating conversations about race and the legacy and impact of slavery on community-university dynamics.
“This was my first professional experience dealing with civil rights issues,” says Ezzell, who graduated from UVA in 2016, “and I fell in love right away. I knew I wanted to go back to school and become a civil rights attorney.”
Now a 3L at UNH Franklin Pierce scheduled to graduate in spring 2021, Ezzell has continued to contribute to inclusive environments. In addition to her studies and other leadership roles, Ezzell serves as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Fellow at the law school. As DEI Fellow, she is developing a strategic plan to help the administration at UNH Franklin Pierce institutionalize the recommendations of the Dean’s Task Force on Racial Justice, Diversity, and Inclusion, of which Ezzell served as co-chair. Her work also aspires to expedite development of a program to create more diverse law school and New Hampshire legal communities.
“The DEI Fellow position is important to UNH Law because it’s critical that the law school foster a diverse and inclusive environment,” says Ezzell, “not just to the benefit of students of color, but of all students.”
At UVA, Ezzell majored in political and social thought and African-American and African studies. In addition to her internship with the University and Community Action for Racial Equity, she also spent time working on Capitol Hill and for various civil rights organizations in Washington, D.C. After graduation, Ezzell moved to Nashville, Tenn., where she served as a Governor’s Management Fellow. Among the projects she managed were two that included assessing the state’s marketing as it related to diversity and economic and community development and authoring a white paper on building a conduit of diverse executive leadership.
“My past work informs my role as the law school’s DEI Fellow,” she says, “especially as it pertains to considerations of the history and demographics of the state of New Hampshire, how to create a pipeline of diverse attorneys and leaders in the New Hampshire legal community, and potential obstacles to implementation.”
Ezzell discovered UNH Franklin Pierce when her husband, an active duty member of the U.S. military, was stationed in New Hampshire when they got married. Though she was living out of state at the time, Ezzell was attracted to the law school because of its small class sizes, emphasis on practical training, and high employment rate for UNH Franklin Pierce graduates.
Since her arrival, she has also served as president of both the Student Bar Association and the Black Law Students Association. Those experiences have allowed Ezzell to collaborate with many members of the UNH Law community and beyond.
“Relationships are very important to me,” she says, “so the thing I have enjoyed most about my time at the law school is the relationships I’ve fostered with my classmates, faculty, and staff.”
As she prepares to graduate and take the D.C. bar exam, Ezzell will continue to provide strategic direction as DEI Fellow for training and organizational development initiatives related to cultural competency at UNH Franklin Pierce. Her interests after law school include employment litigation, corporate diversity counseling, and the intersection of emerging technology and civil rights.
“I look forward to beginning my legal career after taking the bar exam this summer,” she says, “and becoming the first attorney in my family.”