North­eastern University’s School of Law has been named the 2011 winner of the Boston Bar Association’s (BBA) pres­ti­gious Beacon Award for Diver­sity. The honor rec­og­nizes excep­tional lead­er­ship in cre­ating greater diver­sity and inclu­sion in the legal pro­fes­sion in Mass­a­chu­setts.

“Diver­sity — in all of its forms — is crit­ical to ensuring a fair and just legal system,” said Emily Spieler, dean of the School of Law. “We are thrilled that the Boston Bar Asso­ci­a­tion has rec­og­nized North­eastern for our lead­er­ship in an area that is truly a core value for us.”

The School of Law will for­mally receive the award at a cer­e­mony on Nov. 16.

The BBA lauded the law school for its com­mit­ment to diver­sity and inclu­sion in both the fac­ulty and stu­dent body. Thirty-​​nine per­cent of the Class of 2014, for example, are stu­dents of color. Twenty-​​five per­cent of fac­ulty mem­bers are people of color and 56 per­cent are women.

In March, National Jurist Mag­a­zine and preLaw Mag­a­zine awarded the School of Law an “A” on their diver­sity honor rolls. The law school, the BBA noted, annu­ally spon­sors and hosts a Youth & the Law Day aimed at encour­aging urban youth to pursue a legal edu­ca­tion.

BBA also took note of the many North­eastern alumni who are repli­cating this inclu­sive cul­ture and pro­moting diver­sity in their careers at the state level, for non­profit orga­ni­za­tions and in the pri­vate sector in Mass­a­chu­setts. 

“We truly had a phe­nom­enal pool of nom­i­nees,” said Julia Cosentino, cochair of the 2011 Beacon Award Com­mittee. “Over 50 orga­ni­za­tions and indi­vid­uals all took pos­i­tive steps to pro­mote diver­sity and inclu­sion in the legal pro­fes­sion. But North­eastern Uni­ver­sity School of Law’s efforts and its results really made it stand out as a change agent.”