On February 16, 2023 – Friday, Eldredge & Clark joined the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center as they hosted the opening of the new exhibit “The Life and Legacy of Scipio A. Jones.” The exhibit brings light to the great efforts Jones made in the legal world as a prominent African American attorney right here in Pulaski county.
The event was inspired by an elegant watercolor painting, by the artist Ed Wade, titled “Scipio and the Twelve” which long time Friday Firm Partner William “Bill” Waddell Jr. and his wife Patty Waddell had commissioned. The painting depicts Scipio A. Jones and the twelve men he defended during the Elaine Massacre of 1919.
After an in-depth conversation with the Center’s Executive Director Key Fletcher, the idea to display the painting in the Center’s gallery quickly grew into a full-fledged exhibit focused on Scipio A. Jones and the legal culture in Arkansas.
The opening night reception included members of Scipio A. Jones’ family, partners from Friday, Eldredge & Clark; the Pulaski County Bar Association; the W. Harold Flowers Law Society; The Honorable Judge Audrey Don Evans; The Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism; Arkansas Natural & Cultural Resources Council; Hope Credit Union, along with several judges, attorneys and many members of the community.
Jordan Rogers, the Executive Director of Arkansas Access to Justice Commission & Foundation represented Bill, who could not attend due to an Eighth Circuit argument, and shared the inspiration behind the painting “Scipio and the Twelve”. Jordan also shared about the mission to sale copies of the painting to help raise money for the Black Law Student Associations at the state’s two law schools to assist minority students in need.
The Firm’s Marketing and PR Director, Jasmine Richardson, took a moment to highlight the Firm’s Friday Forward Fellowship, which supports undergraduates who are in college and maybe a first-generation college student or may be from a community that is underrepresented in Arkansas. The Fellowship is designed to diversify and increase resources for students that are choosing to go to law school. It will furnish an LSAT prep academy course as well as a Friday Firm mentor to help guide fellows through the process of applying to law school and offer guidance throughout their first year. The Fellowship also includes a future clerkship opportunity with the firm. The Firm plans to begin taking applications beginning March 1, 2023.
The painting “Scipio and the Twelve” will be on display at the Center’s exhibit until mid-May. To read more about the painting and long time Friday Firm Partner William “Bill” Waddell click here.