There was one thing that Antonio Milton was certain of as a young child growing up in Carencro, Louisiana, just outside Lafayette — he wanted to be a lawyer.
As the son of a lawyer, Milton routinely visited his father’s office, where he had a front row seat to the workings of justice.
“I was in first grade, and I’d go to his office to do homework,” said Milton. “I would see him working with clients, representing real people and arguing before the courts. Just seeing him in action had such an impact on me.”
Milton’s love for the law only deepened, and 17 years later, his dream of following in his father’s footsteps came true. On May 22, he will receive his law degree from Tulane Law School, where among other honors he was elected as the first African American to serve as editor-in-chief of the Tulane Law Review.
Just as Milton wanted to be a lawyer from a young age, he also had his mind set on attending Tulane, both as an undergraduate and a law student. After all, Tulane was in New Orleans, a city he began to fall in love with just after Hurricane Katrina when he and his family would make regular visits to New Orleans as part of the church where his father served as preacher.
“College was always a given,” Milton said. “My parents really believed in higher education and the importance of that and what you can do in life with a degree. I applied to 10 or so schools, but Tulane was always at the top of the list.”
Milton was specifically interested in schools, like Tulane, that offered highly qualified students the opportunity to begin law school as college seniors.
Milton majored in political science, giving him the opportunity to learn from numerous scholars such as Ashley Burns. One of his favorite classes was Burns’ Race and American Politics course.
“We talked about different theories of constitutional interpretation. I learned a lot about the historic, deeply entrenched pillars of systematic racism in American history.”
In law school, Milton especially enjoyed learning property law from Sally Richardson, whom he described as “incredibly engaging,” as well as administrative law from Adam Babich.
Milton graduates with a 3.89 grade point average and ranks in the top 10% of his class of 180 students. He achieved all this while also working as editor-in-chief of the Tulane Law Review, participating in Moot Court as a member of the environmental appellate team, serving as a peer mentor and tutor in the Academic Support Program and as senior fellow in the Legal Research and Writing Program.
His work experience has been equally impressive. In addition to summer associateships at various law firms in New Orleans and Houston, he interned at the 15th Judicial District Public Defender’s Office in Lafayette, clerked at the Tulane Legal Assistance Program and served as deputy political director for Action New Orleans.
Of all his experiences at Tulane Law School, Milton says being elected editor-in-chief of the Tulane Law Review was by far the most significant.
“It gave me the opportunity to extend offers of publication to underrepresented groups of people,” he said. “It allowed me to uplift scholars of color. I had that impact, and it’s something that really isn’t talked about that much in the field of legal academia. Fortunately, I had a great team of folks helping me. It definitely took a village to make it happen.”
Up next for Milton is preparation for the bar exam and two clerkships, first with Chief Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown of the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana, and then with Judge Carl E. Stewart of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He also plans to be an active Tulane Law School alumnus.
“I am forever grateful for my time at Tulane, for the experiences I have had and the phenomenal colleagues and mentors that I have found in the Tulane community.”