Evangeline Mitchell was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and raised in Houston, Texas. She graduated magna cum laude from Prairie View A&M University. She went on to earn her doctorate of jurisprudence from the University of Iowa College of Law. She studied international and comparative law abroad with the University of Iowa Bordeaux Summer Program and participated in the London Law Consortium Semester Study Abroad Program and in their British Legal Internship Program. She also spent a semester as a visiting student at the University of Houston Law Center. Additionally, she earned a master of education with a concentration in administration, planning, and social policy from Harvard University.
Mitchell is a licensed attorney, certified mediator, speaker/trainer, and strategic planning coach. She is a fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, a two-time Houston Bar Association Equal Access Champion (for dedicated pro bono legal service), and a Harvard University alumna interviewer. She serves on the boards for nonprofit organizations, including the National Association of Black Female Entrepreneurs (an organization which encourages and supports black female entrepreneurship), the Manhood Achievement Network (an organization focused on providing positive role models and mentorship to black teens), and Civic Frame (an organization that uses media arts to incite discussion on important social issues). She is a member of several bar and business associations. She is also leading efforts to encourage national and global community service.
Mitchell’s original plan was to pursue her doctorate degree at Harvard and then dedicate her professional career to working in higher education administration, concentrating on international, diversity, and multicultural issues. However, she made the decision to indefinitely postpone her plan to continue her education in order to follow her heart and fulfill her personal commitment to never forget what it felt like to want to become a lawyer and not have guidance or mentorship.
As a first-generation college and law school graduate, she felt strongly about the need to do more outreach and provide practical assistance to those who fully have the potential but were disadvantaged because they were not from college-educated families or who didn’t know lawyers particularly African Americans. She wanted to help them to better understand and prepare for the very real challenges of pursuing a legal education and coping with the additional stresses of being black in predominantly white law school and legal environments.
She founded The National Black Pre-Law Conference and Law Fair, a comprehensive national information-sharing and networking conference that has impacted over 1,000 aspiring law students nationwide. In addition, she founded Black Pre-Law Magazine, the National Black Pre-Law Network, and the National HBCU Pre-Law Project.