Skip to main content

Black Law Student Association Year Off To A Great Start

February 17, 2015

By Charlene Mayers 3L, BLSA Historian

The Black Law Student Association (BLSA) started 2015 off with a bang! This year marked the 47th Western Regional BLSA (WRBLSA) Convention: Paving the Road for Tomorrow’s Lawyers. The convention was held January 6-11, 2015 in Long Beach, CA. This annual Convention is a wonderful opportunity for attendees to network with other BLSA members; perform pro-bono community service; participate in student advocacy competitions; engage in workshops related to the legal profession; and network with attorneys all across the Western Region. 

In attendance this year was Constance Perry, BLSA’s 1L Representative, and Gabrielle Williams 1L. The pair competed, and won, the WRBLSA 1L Oral Advocacy Competition. “The regionals experience overall was life-changing,” said Williams. “Going to the competition, I was nervous, and truly felt unprepared. My perspective changed when we first arrived to Long Beach. Everyone was welcoming and willing to help. We were the only 1L team to show up for the oral advocacy competition so we competed with the 2Ls and 3Ls. As we went through the rounds, our competitors began to give advice on presenting our case and proper ways to address the judges. From this experience, I was able to watch ambitious individuals apply themselves, and grow throughout the experience. Working around such individuals inspired me to work just as hard. I now have goals of trying out for Moot Court. I would recommend this competition or others like it, to any student wanting to push themselves.”

The excitement did not end there. Perry accepted the nomination to serve as the Community Service Director for the 2015-2016 WRBLSA Executive Board. “I was shocked,” she stated. “It was my first time attending a convention, my first time competing, and I walked away with a high honor of being able to serve on next year’s board and continue to inspire other law students.” In addition to testing her advocacy skills, Perry also received WRBLSA award for 1L of the Year. 

Our BLSA chapter also brought back the award for WRBLSA Scholar of the Year. This was awarded to Shannon Laoye 3L. When notified that she had won the award, she stated “I was pleasantly surprised. It is one thing to work hard and be acknowledged by those around you, but it is completely different to work hard and have that acknowledged by an entire region of individuals you have never met. It is an amazing honor and I am sincerely grateful.”