“Just the Beginning” began as a celebration of the Integration of the Federal Judiciary, which happened in 1949 when President Harry S. Truman made the first-lifetime appointment of an African American judge. President Truman made recess appointment of Judge William Hastie to the United States Court of Appeal for the Third Circut. On September 19, 1992 in Chicago, IL., a special event entitled, “Just The Beginning – A Celebration of Integration of the Federal Judiciary” also honored Judge James Parsons, the first African-American United States District Court Judge, on his retirement after devoting thirty-one years on the federal bench. Inspired by the events of that weekend, Just The Beginning Foundation (JTBF) was founded as a not-for-profit organization of judges, lawyers, and other citizens dedicated to developing educational programs to inspire and foster careers in the law among students of color and from other underrepresented groups, from middle school through law school. Today, Just The Beginning – A Pipeline Organization (formerly JTBF and now, JTB-APO) continues this mission by offering pipeline programs directly aimed at inspiring young students and increasing diversity in the legal profession and judiciary.
Today, Just The Beginning – A Pipeline Organization continues this mission by offering pipeline programs directly aimed at inspiring young students and increasing diversity in the legal profession and judiciary. These programs include the Middle School and High School Summer Legal Institutes, an Advanced Summer Legal Institute, law student externships, law student scholarships, programming in schools that target under-served and minority high school and college students, and biennial conferences that bring together diverse legal leaders of local communities.