Pace J. McConkie

Title: 
Director
Office Location: 
Earl S. Richardson Library
Phone: 
443 885-3957
Email: 
pace.mcconkie@morgan.edu
Education:

William H. Bowen School of Law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock,  Jurist Doctorate - 1987 

University of Utah, Bachelor of Arts - Political Science and English - 1984

Education:

William H. Bowen School of Law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock,  Jurist Doctorate - 1987 

University of Utah, Bachelor of Arts - Political Science and English - 1984

Pace Jefferson McConkie
Director

Pace Jefferson McConkie is a civil rights attorney with a primary focus in the areas of constitutional law and pertinent state and federal civil rights law, particularly as pertaining to discrimination on the basis of race, color and ethnicity, racial inequities, equal protection, education law, equal educational opportunity, school desegregation, integration and diversity, and the First Amendment. His work covers advice, representation and advocacy relating to public education from elementary and secondary schools through the collegiate and graduate school levels of postsecondary education. He is the founder and director of the Robert M. Bell Center for Civil Rights in Education, established at Morgan State University, to unite research, teaching, training and advocacy on integral civil rights issues in education at all levels, particularly with respect to African American and other minority students seeking real and meaningful opportunities for educational excellence and advancement.

In 1998, Mr. McConkie was appointed by the Attorney General of Maryland to serve as Assistant Attorney General and Principal Counsel to the Maryland Higher Education Commission. The Commission is the coordinating, regulatory and policy-making body for all segments of postsecondary education in the State, including 58 public and private institutions of higher education. With responsibility for all of its legal affairs, Mr. McConkie represented the Commission in various significant proceedings, including the negotiation and implementation of Maryland's Partnership Agreement with the United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, necessary to ensure the State's compliance with its equal educational opportunity obligations under State and federal law and the elimination of any remaining vestiges of the State's prior de jure segregated system of higher education. He also represented the Commission in major First Amendment litigation in the federal courts regarding the separation of church and state and the Establishment Clause prohibition against public monies flowing directly into the coffers of religious institutions.

Prior to his appointment with the State of Maryland, Mr. McConkie was an attorney with the National Litigation Project of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in the provision of legal services to victims of racial discrimination. A fundamental mission of the Lawyers' Committee is to ensure fair and equitable political participation and the elimination of all barriers to equal opportunities for minority and disadvantaged persons. Mr. McConkie was primarily responsible for the Committee's litigation and public policy initiatives in the area of equal educational opportunity for minority students. He was involved in educational issues of national importance, including major litigation and policy efforts in Pittsburgh, PA, Prince George's County, MD, San Jose, CA, Wilmington, DE, and several southern states, focusing on the complete eradication of the vestiges or present effects of segregation, the elimination of educational policies and practices that adversely effect or unlawfully discriminate against minority students, and implementation of comprehensive quality education programs. He also participated, with the Committee as amicus curiae, in the major affirmative action cases addressing minority admissions policies and race-based scholarship programs in higher education.

For several years, Mr. McConkie served as Assistant General Counsel for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) at its national headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland where he was also responsible for the education case docket and acted as counsel for the NAACP's Southwest Region. He was honored as NAACP Attorney of the Year at its 1994 national convention in Chicago. He is a Life Member of the NAACP and remains actively engaged with the Association's legal agenda.

Mr. McConkie obtained a Juris Doctorate degree with special emphasis in Race, Racism and American Law from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and completed his undergraduate work at the University of Utah where he majored in English and Political Science, affiliated with the Hinckley Institute of Politics, and served as staff to Senator Edward M. Kennedy on the Education and Labor Committee in the United States Senate. He was the recipient of the 2009 Distinguished Alumnus award from the University of Utah, College of Humanities. He has practiced with a private law firm in the Washington, D.C. area and began his legal career with a two-year clerkship with Associate Chief Justice Richard C. Howe of the Utah Supreme Court. He is admitted to practice (state and federal courts) and is a member of the bar in the states of Arkansas, Maryland and Utah and in the District of Columbia. He is also a member of the bar of the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third and Fourth Circuits, and the United States District Court for the District of Delaware and the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Mr. McConkie and his wife, Marilyn, reside in Annapolis, Maryland and are the parents of four children.