Black Law Students Association Named Best in Midwest

Black Law Students Association Named Best in Midwest
Lynn Safranek
University of Chicago News Office
March 1, 2010

The University of Chicago Law School is proud to recognize our outstanding Black Law Students Association for being named the Midwest BLSA Chapter of the Year.

BLSA President Malaika Durham Tyson, '11, Chauntell Bobo, '11, and Katrina Jackson, '12, were presented the award on behalf of the Law School's BLSA on Feb. 21 at the regional competition in Minneapolis. The honor qualifies the group for National Chapter of the Year, which will be decided March 12 during BLSA's National Convention in Boston.

"Our BLSA Chapter is one of the most dynamic student organizations at the Law School," said Dean of Students Michele Baker Richardson. "Together with a handful of other groups, they sponsor or co-sponsor a significant number of speaker events that are of interest to the broader law student and campus community, addressing issues that might not otherwise be addressed. We are fortunate to have such a talented group of students in our midst."

By combining an emphasis on community service and sociopolitical awareness, Chicago's BLSA has offered comprehensive event programming that benefits the Law School as well as a wider audience of alumni, undergraduates, and high school students. Judges for the regional competition were impressed by Chicago students' strong participation in BLSA in support of its programming.

"Our general membership participation was very high for most of our community service, academic, and social events," Tyson said.

BLSA was one of the only competitors to fulfill almost every community service initiative recommended by the regional and national chapters. They did this by disseminating information for World AIDS Day, holding a supply drive for the local YWCA, and teaming with Northwestern University to clean one of Chicago's largest parks.

BLSA organizes social outings for its 29 members, but they also host academic events for the entire Law School. With the Earl B. Dickerson Speaker Series, which honors the life and work of the Law School's first Black graduate, they invite distinguished guests to the Law School for lunchtime lectures. The group also introduced the Tools for Academic Success Series, workshops given by Law School faculty and staff on study tips and exam-taking strategies.

Their event programming was geared to others, too. They organized two law school shadow day programs for high school students and started a mentoring program for Black undergraduate students. BLSA's Alumni Affairs committee revitalized the quarterly Alumni newsletter and held an alumni reception for graduates and current students.

Congratulations to BLSA and good luck at the national convention!


As a former Chicago BLSA

As a former Chicago BLSA president, I am very proud! Congratulations!

Michelle Blackwell Jackson '90