SWLAW Blog | Diversity
February 13, 2019
BLSA Honors Jacqueline Harding ’96 as Outstanding Alumnus of the Year
Each year, Southwestern’s Black Law Students Association (BLSA) recognizes an alumnus for their contributions and achievements and presents them with the Outstanding Alumnus of the Year award. This year's award goes to Ms. Jacqueline Harding ’96.
BLSA Co-Presidents, Dante Paul and Chizitere Nnadi, commented on behalf of the BLSA Board, “We chose Jacqueline Harding as this year’s BLSA Outstanding Alumnus of the Year because she embodies the mission and objectives that BLSA has set out for itself, which is to uplift and strengthen black law students and young black lawyers."
"As a partner at Wilson Elser, her efforts in the advancement of women and minority attorneys speaks volumes about who she is. In all, Jacqueline Harding is a representation of the type of role model BLSA students look to as we trek through the journey of law school.”
- Dante Paul & Chizitere Nnadi, BLSA Co-Presidents
Ms. Jacqueline Harding graduated from Southwestern in 1996 and while a student served on both the Moot Court Honors Program and Southwestern's Journal of Law and Trade in the Americas. Since her graduation, she has participated in several BLSA activities. Ms. Harding is a partner at Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicken LLP, specializing in labor and employment law. Her areas of focus include media, corporate, general liability, and municipal law. Ms. Harding represents clients in state and federal courts, arbitrations, mediations, civil service commission hearings, EEOC/DFEH administrative hearings, and labor commission and OSHA hearings. She has litigated several class action lawsuits brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act. In 2009, Ms. Harding was selected for inclusion in Southern California Rising Stars.
Before joining Wilson Elser, Ms. Harding worked in the Labor Relations Department at The Walt Disney Company, an American multinational diversified mass media company. Before becoming a lawyer, she was a television producer for 13 years, including producing an Emmy award-winning weekly magazine series in Chicago for a major network. In Los Angeles, she and her husband owned several businesses, including two restaurants in a national chain.
Ms. Harding serves as the Chair of her firm’s Pro Bono Committee and is active in numerous associations dedicated to improving access to the legal profession for women of color. Among her many memberships and affiliations, she is involved in the Black Women Lawyers Association, the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, and the John M. Langston Bar Association. Ms. Harding is the Chairperson of the Diversity Committee of the International Association of Defense Counsel and is on the Los Angeles Joint Task Force on Women in the Profession for the Los Angeles County Bar Association.
“I am very honored to be selected Alum of the Year by BLSA. I know all of us can achieve our dreams and make a difference in our own lives and the lives of others. What we wholeheartedly believe in, focus on, and work at will always manifest. That’s a universal law!”
- Jacqueline Harding '96
Ms. Jacqueline Harding is being recognized at the 2019 BLSA Outstanding Alumnus Award Cocktail reception on Thursday, February 28, 2019, at Southwestern.