Black Law Students Association
The Black Law Students Association fosters and encourages professional competence, provides academic support to first-year students, focuses on the relationship of the African-American attorney to the existing legal structures, and encourages in the African-American law student a continued awareness of and commitment to the needs of the African-American community. BLSA accomplishes these objectives during programs throughout the year, and organizes special events during Black History Month in February.
Meet the Champions of Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Regional Competition, MABLSA Convention Feb. 13-16, Pittsburgh
Christy Gamble (2nd from left), won the award for "Best Advocacy" during the Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Regional Competition. The team members, (left to right) Finn Skovdal, Christy Gamble, John Woodruff and Danielle Wete were named first place champions of the Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Regional Competition, held during the Mid-Atlantic Black Law Students Association convention in Pittsburgh Feb. 13-17, 2013. The team will be traveling to compete in the finals during the National Convention held in Atlanta, GA March, 6-10, 2013.
The "Best Chapter" Awarded to Duquesne's BLSA Student Organization
Our Duquesne BLSA Student Organization was awarded "Best Chapter" at the MABLSA Regional Convention during the Awards Gala, held at the Omni William Penn on February, 16th, 2013. Our chapter continues to be very active and has held several events at Duquesne, including a Pre-Law Boot Camp that assisted undergrad students, from the Tri-State area, in the application process for law school, sponsoring a year long clothing drive/fundraiser for the Dress for Success Pittsburgh chapter, and the annual Soul Food Sampler on February 26th, just to name a few.
Meet Stephanie Johnson
Mid-Atlantic Black Law Students Association Convention Coordinator
When the Mid-Atlantic Black Law Students Association meets in Pittsburgh this week, Stephanie Johnson will see months of worth of work come to fruition. The third-year Duquesne School of Law student is serving as regional coordinator for MABLSA's 45th annual convention Feb. 13-17, 2013. The five-day event features legal workshops, community service projects, mock trial and moot court competitions and networking opportunities involving law students, practitioners and the public.
"I knew I wanted to help with the Pittsburgh event so I attended the 2012 convention and positioned myself to learn as much as possible and be considered to serve as a leader this year," says the 25-year-old law student.
Among her many planning roles, Johnson worked with Assistant Professor Tracey McCants Lewis to plan Duquesne's participation in the day of community service on Feb. 14. As a result, students in the University's Bill of Rights Clinic will provide information on record expungement and the pardon process to participants in Dress for Success, a nonprofit organization that promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women.
Also on Thursday, a group of Duquesne School of Law students will begin competing in the Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial event, one of two competitions held during the convention each year. Students John Woodruff, Finn Skovdal, Danielle Wete and Christy Gamble will compete for the University.
That evening Johnson will welcome participants to a convention reception that features Duquesne School of Law Dean Ken Gormley and Allegheny County Public Defender Elliot Howsie.
On Fri., Feb. 15, Duquesne students Gamble and Lauren Gailey, will make a key presentation during a healthcare workshop, "The Affordable Care Act: A Solution for Minority Healthcare Problems?" The students' talk will be followed by a panel discussion with attorneys and health professionals from the region. Gailey and Gamble are participating in the event through the University's Health Law Society.
A total of 27 law schools will be represented at the MABLSA convention. Johnson, a Schweitzer Fellowship recipient at Duquesne, says there will be something for everyone at the event. "Law students, lawyers and members of the public will all benefit."
The MABLSA convention is based at the William Penn Omni Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh. To view the agenda, visit www.nblsa.org/mablsaconvention.