MVSU to explore “Equal Justice Under the Law” during academic forum

April 4, 2018

ITTA BENA, Miss.— “Equal Justice Under the Law” is a common phrase in the American legal system, but what exactly does it mean? Mississippi Valley State University will explore this societal ideal during its Spring 2018 Academic Forum Thursday, April 5.

Themed “Explaining the Concept of ‘Equal Justice Under the Law’”, the event will be hosted from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in MVSU’s William A. Butts Social Science Auditorium.

The guest speaker will be Attorney Rhonda C. Cooper, professor of Political Science at Jackson State University.

The event is free and open to the general public. Refreshments will be provided.

Cooper earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Millsaps College in 1985 and her Juris Doctor from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1988. 

She served as a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and the Pre-Law Advisor at Jackson State University from 2012 until 2017.  She has since returned to the practice of law as a civil and criminal trial attorney and now acts as general and litigation counsel to Jackson Memorial Funeral Services. 

Cooper is a member of the American Bar Association, the Capital Area Bar Association, the Magnolia Bar Association, and the Metro Jackson Black Women Lawyers Association.

In service to the legal studies program at Jackson State, Cooper directed the legal studies curriculum and was the Faculty Advisor to the Fannie Lou Hamer Pre-Law Society and Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International. In those roles, she helped to coordinate several activities and events designed to enhance student readiness for law school matriculation.  

Cooper has presented and served as a panelist at conferences sponsored by the Magnolia Bar Association, the Mississippi Political Science Association, the Southern Political Science Association, the American Association of Behavioral and Social Sciences, and the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). Her involvement with LSAC included membership in the Southwest Association of Pre-Law Advisors (SWAPLA) and annual attendance at APLA conferences and LSAC Law School Forums with pre-law students.  

She is a two-time recipient of Jackson State’s Creative Awards for Faculty and Staff and was honored for her excellence in teaching and advising by the College of Liberal Arts in 2016.  She also serves on the Advisory Board on Minority Affairs at Mississippi College School of Law.

Cooper resides in Ridgeland, Mississippi and is the mother of one daughter. She is a member of Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Jackson where she assists on several committees and in various capacities.

MVSU’s Spring 2018 Academic Forum is supported by funds awarded by the Charles Koch Foundation, under the direction of Dr. Emmanuel Amadi, chair of MVSU’s Criminal Justice Department.