Melinda Hightower is the founder of Blueprint JD, Inc, a nonprofit organization committed to improving diversity in the legal profession. A native of Detroit, Michigan, earned her B.S. from Cornell University, her M.B.A. from the University of Chicago, and her J.D. from the University of Virginia. While at University of Virginia, Ms. Hightower served as a Dillard Fellow, a student instructor in the legal research and writing program. She was named a Ritter Scholar and was also inducted into the Raven Society, the oldest and most prestigious honorary society at the University of Virginia.
Prior to entering law school, Ms. Hightower worked as a human resources professional with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in New York City; World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in Stamford, Connecticut; and Morningstar, Inc., a leading provider of independent investment research headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Over the course of her human resources career, Ms. Hightower was also active in her community and volunteered with numerous youth empowerment groups including the New York Urban Debate League and Scholarship Chicago.
Ms. Hightower continued her service commitment as she began her legal career, focusing on issues that impact communities of color. She has an avid interest in voting rights and was a field leader for the non-partisan Election Protection Coalition during the United States’ historic 2008 presidential election. She reprised her role for the national mid-term elections in 2010 and will do so again for the 2012 election cycle. In keeping with her personal commitment to community service and academic excellence, she is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Ms. Hightower chairs the Advisory Board of the National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA) and is an associate with a major international law firm in Washington, DC.