The NEBLSA 45th Annual Regional Convention took place January 23-27, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency, Cambridge. This year, we had 219 registrants, including 113 competitors and coaches. This is the greatest number of registrants the region has ever had at a convention, and the lowest percentage of competitors at a NEBLSA regional convention. In addition to our competitions, this year's convention featured panels, luncheons, an alumni reception, a night out in Boston, a career center, community service, plenary, and of course our Annual Gala.
The Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition
NEBLSA held another successful moot court competition this year. A total of twenty-five (25) teams registered to compete with 21 teams actually competing.
Our 2013 Northeast Regional Winners are:
The Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition
- Champions are Whitney Hayes and John Goodwin representing Columbia Law School.
- First Runner-Ups are Jocelyn Greer and Garrett Schuman from Columbia Law School.
- Second Runner-Ups are Adam Faeth and Frantz Wright from the State University of New York (SUNY), Buffalo School of Law
- Best Petitioner Brief Winners are Sarah Tanbakuch and Shayna Eichen from SUNY Buffalo School of Law.
- Best Respondent Brief Winners are Taylor Hartstien and Madiba Dennie from Columbia Law School
- Best Oral Advocate was Kate Ferguson from Columbia Law School
NEBLSA's successful Mock Trial Competition this year hosted sixteen (16) competition teams representing eleven (11) schools
Our 2013 Northeast Regional Winners are:
- Champions are Cathrine Okoh, Jason Herron, Andrew Boulanger, and Simran Gill representing Massachusetts School of Law
- First Runner-Ups are Tara Bright, Frank DeLuccia, Brittany Jones and Samuel Reisen representing Syracuse University College of Law
- Second Runner-Ups are Joshua Copperman, Steve Fils-Aime, Masai Lord and Tara Yvonne Sheppard representing St. John's University School of Law
- Best Oral Advocate is Jennifer Johns representing Harvard Law School
The Career Center at the convention was sponsored by Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. It featured associates and recruiters from Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. and Choate Hall & Stewart LLP. Convention attendees signed up and received mock interviews and resume critiques. Attendees also received valuable career advice.
Convention attendees participated in a blood drive sponsored by the American Red Cross. The American Red Cross is the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the United States. A part of its mission is to fulfill the needs of the American people for the safest, most reliable and most cost-effective blood services through voluntary donations. Both numerous students and community members participated in the blood drive.
Welcome to Boston Alumni Reception
The Welcome to Boston Alumni Reception gave Convention Attendees a taste of Boston's Jazz-fusion music scene. Additionally, on the tables spread throughout the room, students had the opportunity to learn more about Boston's African-American history though a replication of the twelve stops of the Boston African-American Heritage Trail. Students enjoyed the sounds of Soul for Yo System jazz band while they snacked on hors d'oeuvres provided to compliment our wine and beer reception. Convention attendees had the opportunity to network with alumni from the Boston area and with Convention sponsors.
NEBLSA had a total six panels at this year's convention. The panel topics covered firm life, public interest, becoming a solo practitioner, personal branding and networking, serving as in-house counsel, and working in fields outside of the law. We extend a special thanks to all the attorneys who volunteered their time to talk to the Convention Attendees. A huge thanks to Taa Grays who helped us to plan the convention panels and reach out to attorneys to participate in the convention.
The Dean's Diversity Luncheon
Ade Heyliger, a senior associate and graduate of Harvard law School and Wharton School of Business, gave his 10 tips of things he wished he knew in law school. Students learned the benefits of tapping into their networks and seeking mentors to help guide them in their careers. Ade answered students' questions on a variety of topics and offered his insight drawn form his personal and career experience.
This year we combined the Dean's and Diversity Luncheon. This year's keynote speaker was Asker Saeed, the Director of Diversity at Day Pitney LLP. Mr. Saeed presented a thought provoking presentation on the state of diversity in the legal field and the strides we still need to make as a community. In addition to the attorneys and the law students in attendance, we were graced with presence and support of four law schools deans from the Massachusetts area.
The NEBLSA Awards Gala
On Saturday night, convention participants came together, dressed to the nines, to attend the Awards Gala. Brandon Greene, Regional Attorney General, Founder of Out the Mouths of Babes, and newly sworn-in Boston NAACP Education Director served as master of ceremonies for the evening, adding a humor and charisma to the event. He was followed at the podium by remarks from the NEBLSA Regional Chair Bomopregha A. Julius and remarks from our sponsor Day Pitney LLP. McCarter & English and BarBri® served as sponsors for our competitions.
Closing the evening were the awe-inspiring and reflections and words of Ms. Ayanna Pressley, the first African Women to serve on the Boston City Council. She discussed her assent to office and the legacy of our people to overcome and endure. She also shared with attendees our will as a people to express our decisions publically by exercising our right to vote. Her words left the room inspired and uplifted. Her presence had an effect on the room that left us wanting to hear more about her story and her triumph through adversity.
The event concluded with the announcement of our regional scholarship winners, NEBLSA Chapters of the Year and the 2013-2014 Regional Board. This year, NEBLSA awarded two Pre-Law members with scholarships from PowerScore for a free LSAT test preparation class. This year, our winners are Florene Frenot and Jasmine Omeke students at Brown University and Harvard College respectively. In accordance with the change in chapter of the year, this year, NEBLSA three chapters as chapters of the year, based on size. For chapters with fewer than twenty-five (25) members are small chapters, chapters with twenty-five to fifty (25-50) members are medium chapters, and chapters with more than fifty (50) members are large chapters. With at least one chapter per category competing, our winners this year are Harvard Law School (Large), Boston University School of Law (Medium), and Rutgers University School of Law-Newark (Small). We wish them the best as they represent our region at the National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia!
2013-2014 Regional Executive Board
Clais Daniels-Edwards - Chair
Seton Hall University School of Law
Chris Ellis Jr. - Vice Chair
Rutgers University School of Law- Newark
John-Raphaelo Pichardo II - Treasurer
Quinnipiac University School of Law
Sarah Telson - New York Metro Sub-Regional Director
Benjamin Cardozo School of Law
Jennifer Rawlings - Connecticut Sub-Regional Director
Quinnipiac University School of Law
Danielle Burckson - CNNE Sub-Regional Director
Suffolk University School of Law
A Special Thanks to our Sponsors:
- Weil, Gotshal &Manges LLP- Title SponsorDay Pitney LLP- Silver Sponsor, Gala Sponsor
- McCarter English LLP- Silver Sponsor, Moot Court Competition Sponsor
- Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.- Bronze Sponsor, Career Center Sponsor
- Porzio Bromberg & Newman PC- Supporting Sponsor, Sponsor of Convention Bags
- Choate Hall and Stewart LLP- Supporting Sponsor, Participant in Career Center
- Pierce Atwood- Supporting Sponsor, Convention Scholarship
- Pieper Bar Review- Supporting Sponsor
- Lexis Nexis- Supporting Sponsor
Congratulations to all of our winners!
And best of luck to those competing in Atlanta!