UVA BLSA Wins Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Year

UVA BLSA members

UVA Law BLSA members attended the Mid-Atlantic BLSA convention: Jordan LaPointe ’22, Princelee Clesca ’20, Nicole Banton ’21, Melissa Privette ’22, Niraje Medley-Bacon ’22, Courtney Davis ’20, Tiffany Mickel ’22, David Kitchin ’22, Natasha Halloran ’21, Catherine Guerrier ’21, Lillian Childress ’21, Rambert Tyree ’22, Michele St Julien ’20, Michael Howell ’21, Rachel Barnes J.D.-MBA ’21, Lise Guerrier ’20 and Morgan Palmiter ’22. Photos courtesy Lillian Childress

February 20, 2020

The University of Virginia School of Law chapter of the Black Law Students Association won chapter of the year at the Mid-Atlantic BLSA convention, held Feb. 5-9 in Philadelphia.

The chapter’s achievements in the past year included restructuring its annual Winter Diversity Reception to include a pre-reception coffee mix and mingle; strengthening its bond with the undergraduate BLSA chapter on Main Grounds by implementing a BLSA Buddy mentorship program; and hosting an impromptu, nonpartisan three-day exhibit demonstrating the history of lynching and its racial impacts.

And, as it does each year, the chapter traveled overseas for a pro bono service trip and is slated to present the BLSA Alumni Spotlight Award this April.

In addition, member Rachel Barnes J.D.-MBA ’21 was elevated to national BLSA chair in November.

“My entire leadership team and I are very passionate about BLSA, being change agents in our community, and creating pathways for diversifying the legal profession,” said UVA BLSA President Lillian Childress ’21 regarding the accomplishments leading up to the win.

Also at the convention, teammates Jordan LaPointe ’22 and Melissa Privette ’22 won the Thurgood Marshall Moot Court Competition Best Respondent Brief Award.

Jordan LaPointe ’22 and Melissa Privette ’22
Jordan LaPointe ’22 and Melissa Privette ’22

UVA Law students first organized the school’s BLSA chapter (then known as the Black American Law Students Association) on Oct. 16, 1970.

“For us, winning chapter of the year upon the 50th anniversary of our chapter’s founding date is an honor, and it reaffirms that we are making significant strides towards our goals,” Childress said.

The group will compete for the national chapter of the year award at the national BLSA conference March 3-8 in Cincinnati. The UVA chapter has been named national chapter of the year five times since 2002.

NBLSA was created and designed to articulate and promote the professional needs and goals of black law students, foster and encourage professional competence, and focus upon the relationship of the black attorney to the American legal structure.

Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.

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Mike Fox
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mfox@law.virginia.edu / (434) 982-6832

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