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Midwest Black Law Students Assoc. Convention Coming in February

JANUARY 4, 2010—The Midwest Region of the National Black Law Students Association (MWBLSA) is holding its annual convention on February 17-21, 2010, at the Marquette Hotel, Minneapolis.

The theme of the regional convention is "Weaving the Fabric of Career and Community," developed to support the focus and further the initiatives of the 2009-10 term of the national BLSA, "Awareness. Advocacy. Activism."

The University of Minnesota's BLSA is hosting the convention, and the BLSA chapters at each of the Twin Cities law schools are sponsoring events.

Among the highlights this year:

  • Welcoming address by U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison ('90)
  • Screening of Street Fight, a 2005 documentary on the battle between community activist Cory Booker and long-time incumbent Sharpe James for mayor of Newark, N.J., in 2002, with introduction and remarks by Representative Bobby Joe Champion of the Minnesota House
  • Silent auction for signed copies of collection of legal thrillers donated by corporate attorney/author Pamela Samuels-Young, and more
  • Career expo
  • Awards gala

Session topics will include risk management and healthcare, federal government jobs, sustaining a "green" legal career, struggles and strengths of women lawyers, changes in the "old boys' club," speed networking, ethics, human trafficking, law and banking, solo practice, and resumes.

Jjais A. Forde ('10), president of the U of M's BLSA, is also Convention Coordinator and responsible for organizing sessions and speakers. She has designed "some riveting and relevant breakout sessions," she says.

The Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition and the Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition will run concurrently with sessions on Feb. 18-19. The final rounds will be completed the morning of Feb. 20.

A group tour of the historic Washburn A flour mill complex in Minneapolis will be offered, and free time will be available for convention attendees to explore the Twin Cities on their own.

Current sponsors of the convention are the American Bar Association, HarperCollins, the National Association for Law Placement Inc., Westlaw/Thomson West, and Pamela Samuels-Young. The list continues to grow.

Anyone who is interested is welcome at the convention. Attendance at the silent auction/cocktail hour/awards banquet only is also available ($50). A reduced registration fee has been arranged for undergraduate students and those practicing for less than three years. Convention registration can be completed at http://a3.acteva.com/orderbooking/bookEvent/A303185.

Rooms have been reserved at the Marquette Hotel for the event at a special rate of $79. They will be available until Feb. 5 or until sold out. Room reservations can be booked at www.hilton.com/en/hi/groups/personalized/MSPVIHH-MWB-20100217/index.html.

The first BLSA was formed in 1968 at New York University School of Law. It is now a national organization, the largest student-run organization in North America, headquartered in Washington, D.C., with more than 200 chapters across the nation organized into the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southern, Midwest, Rocky Mountain, and Western regions. Its name has changed over the years, but its commitment to the needs of black law students and the black community has not.

For more information or to become a sponsor, contact:

Jjais A. Forde ('10)
Midwest Region Convention Coordinator
Email: mwblsa.regionalconvention@gmail.com or
Cell phone: (917) 370-6901