Stillman Alumna to Speak at Honors Convocation
Attorney Devarieste Curry
Speaker: Honors Convocation - April 5th
Stillman will recognize more than 250 students for their academic achievements at its annual Honors Convocation on April 5 at 11 a.m. in Birthright Auditorium. The guest speaker for this occasion will be Attorney Devarieste Curry.
Curry, a 1971 graduate of Stillman, and currently a partner at McLeod, Watkinson & Miller in Washington, DC, has practiced law for over 25 years. She counsels and represents non-profit, corporate, and individual clients on a broad range of matters and handles complex, multi-party litigation on a wide variety of issues in federal and state courts across the nation.
Over the years, Curry has devoted significant time to providing pro bono legal services and brings to her pro bono work the same level of dedication and discipline she brings to her paying clients. It was such dedication that led her to assist the NAACP Legal Defense Fund with a case in the 1990’s involving two second grade girls who had been strip searched by a teacher looking for seven dollars ($7.00). Curry pursued justice for the girls all the way to the Supreme Court, which sadly denied the petition for certiorari, a decision so surprising it resulted in inquiries from media outlets across the country.
Curry has held various leadership and service positions. In December 2011, she was sworn in by the Mayor of the District of Columbia to begin serving a three year term as a member of the Board of Elections and Ethics of the District of Columbia. She also is a member of the Committee on Admissions and Grievances of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. An ordained Elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA), she serves as a member of the Permanent Judicial Commission of the National Capital Presbytery. She has served in leadership positions at Georgetown University, Georgetown University Law Center, the American Bar Association, the District of Columbia Bar, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, among others.
For a number of years, Curry served as President of the DC Area Chapter of the Stillman College Alumni Association. Under her leadership, the Chapter led the nation in fundraising for the College, and the Chapter’s annual benefit concerts featuring classically trained musicians and annual networking brunches enhanced the profile of the College and alumni.
A graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center, Curry speaks frequently on professional topics and self-improvement issues. For a number of years, she has spoken at the annual GE-Delta Leadership Academy on ethical issues. She also has spoken at the Georgetown University Law Center and Arizona State University Law School on ethics and leadership. Her articles and opinions piece have been published in professional publications and newspapers.
Curry has been honored by numerous professional and community organizations and was profiled as one of 16 Women of Excellence in the Second Edition of WHO’S WHO IN BLACK WASHINGTON, which was unveiled on September 15, 2010.
Curry credits her parents and grandparents, her church family, and Stillman College with preparing her to take her place among the best and brightest in the legal profession and for giving her the moral grounding that pervades her every decision. The first four years of Curry’s schooling was in a two room schoolhouse that served eight grades and had no indoor plumbing. Of course, it had no library. Not being able to use the public library, Curry did not have access to a library until she came to Stillman College. But, she had parents that did not see brick walls and a grandmother who would not let her use the words, “I can’t.” Thus, she is well prepared to share with you steps for succeeding against the odds and constantly defying others’ expectations.
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