Oliver Hill Day has been a recognized annual celebration for the Oliver Hill Courts family more almost three decades. Coordinated in conjunction with ABA’s National Law Week, the court community with support from the Greater Richmond Juvenile Bar Association, local businesses, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., and various court-affiliated agencies offer essay and art competitions, recognize community partners for their community service, expose students to keynote speakers in the area of law and social justice.
During one week in the summer, high school students throughout Virginia are provided the basic fundamentals for successful law careers as well as practical learning of the law. Beyond legal concepts and lectures, students are learn about the law school admissions process and are exposed to lawyers of diversity. The Institute culminates with a graduation banquet where a prominent African American member or member of diversity of the Bar is the featured speaker. The project is sponsored and organized by the Diversity Conference of the Virginia State Bar and the Millennium Diversity Initiative with support from the Oliver White Hill Foundation. More about the project can be reviewed in the article by Latoya C. Asia and Providence E. Napoleon, published in the December 2013 issue of Virginia Lawyer: “2013 Oliver Hill/Samuel Tucker Pre-Law Institute“.
This after-school program, in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Virginia, opened in 2011. Each day a different group of students is bused over to the house, where the children mix academics with some play time and time with a big brother or sister. The Oliver Hill Mentoring Program is different from other Big Brothers Big Sisters programs. Instead of volunteers coming during a set time of the school day to visit with students for an hour or take them out in the community, students have a special place to go and get one-on-one attention.
In December 2016, the Oliver Hill Day Committee Chair, in collaboration Richmond Public Schools’ Instructional Specialist for History and the University of Richmond’s Richmond Families Initiative and UR Downtown Program Director at the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement, coordinated a one-day/four-hour writing assessment workshop geared toward improving basic writing skills. The pilot program involved 30 middle and high school student participants, who would be mentored by local college students from local universities, University of Richmond and Virginia State University. During the two-hour workshops, college students provided background on Mr. Hill and the ABA Law theme for the year. Since its pilot, the program has been gradually expanded. The workshop is connected to the commemoration of National Law Day and Oliver Hill Day. Through, community sponsors and volunteers, essays of the Richmond Public School high and middle school students writing is judged and recognized at the annual Oliver Hill Day celebration.
OLIVER WHITE HILL PRO BONO STUDENT AWARD
Sponsored by the Virginia State Bar, this award recognizes an extraordinary law student whose undertakes uncompensated and under-compensated public service work and serves with distinction. The award is administered by the bar’s Special Committee on Access to Legal Services. It was established in 2002 to honor the life and legacy of Mr. Hill.
OLIVER HILL SCHOLARS PROGRAM
The Oliver Hill Scholars Program is designed for academically accomplished, intellectually curious students who are interested in building a community of learners within a multicultural environment. During the academic year, Scholars participate in engaging and culturally stimulating activities, some of which revolve around the African-American community. https://scholars.richmond.edu/about/oliver-hill.html
Oliver White Hill Foundation provides summer internships in the areas of civil rights and civil liberties to law students interested in a career in social justice can public service. In the past interns have been placed at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights located in Washington, DC.
OLIVER HILL HOUSE PRO BONO LEGAL SERVICES (W & L)
Washington and Lee Community Law Center, located in Roanoke, Virginia, offered pro bono legal services and was established to alleviate the harsh consequences of urban poverty. From 2009 to 2011, the Law Center operated out of the renovated childhood home of Oliver White Hill, which is owned by the Oliver White Hill Foundation and operated through partnership with the City of Roanoke. Staffed by upper-level law students, the Law Center worked with Virginia Cares to assist ex-offenders with restoration of civil rights, with the Roanoke Bar Association on the Rule of Law Project, and is beginning work on domestic relations and immigration issues. In addition to the W&L open house, the Roanoke Bar Association held an awards ceremony and fundraising event that evening to benefit the Roanoke Bar Association Foundation and the Oliver White Hill Foundation.