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Overview

Thank you to all who attended the Midwest Black Law Student Association's Annual Regional Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota! We hope that you found our workshops informative, entertaining, and worthwhile. From the various positive feedbacks from the attendees, we believe our goal was accomplished!

More than 200 law students, sponsors, local practitioners, and alumni bared the freezing temperatures of Minneapolis from January 29-February 2, 2014. Our theme for this year was "Bridging the Gap: Embracing Social Responsibility." There were many topics covered during the workshop and the presenters did an outstanding job of sharing their expertise with you. On Thursday, we held our BLSA Roundtable where multiple chapters discussed best practices and relayed ideas for the upcoming year. Law school professors Dr. Artika Tyner and Prof. Bradley Clary gave an insightful seminar on exam-writing and passing the bar. Friday kicked off with a profound CLE Advocacy session, where practitioners debated whether integration was the goal in black America. Many law firms and law schools were a part of the career fair and pre-law school fair both held simultaneously. Law students and practitioners then joined together to watch Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Wilhelmina Wright give an inspiring speech about embracing the promise to lift others along our climb to the top. Afterwards, many students traveled to The Boys & Girls Club for our community service event where law students taught the kids in the center about various legal concepts. Friday ended with a reception where BLSA alumni and current BLSA members were able to mingle.

Saturday opened with the Regional Board Elections and continued with an insightful panel on Careers in Law with Of Counsel for Dorsey & Whitney Cornell Moore and District Director for U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, Jamie Long. The final rounds of the Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial and Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competitions also took place on Saturday at the Hennepin County Courthouse. Competitors who made it to the final rounds had the opportunity to argue before distinguished judges and practitioners, many of which were BLSA alumna, and receive valuable feedback on their presentations. Saturday then ended with our annual Awards Gala, where State Senator Kwame Raoul gave a keynote address inspiring students to persist when the path gets bumpy along the way. Congressman Keith Ellison gave a preliminary address encouraging civic responsibility amongst students. Other highlights of the evening included the announcement of the various competition winners, the results of the elections, and the announcement of the Chapter of the Year winners.

2014-2015 Elected Board Members

Chair: Grace Akinlemibola
Vice Chair: Remington Jackson
Treasurer: Brittany Baron
Secretary: Kendra Lee
Attorney General: Zachariah Bankole
Sub-Regional Director 1: Delante Thomas
Sub-Regional Director 2: Ronald Madlock
Sub-Regional Director 3: Kenneth Wakefield
Director of Community Service: Kejai McNeal
Director of Programming: Sharon Uti

Chapter of the Year Winners:
Michigan State University College of Law
Indiana University Maurer School of Law
University of Chicago Law School
University of Wisconsin Law School

Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition Winner:
Loyola University-Chicago School of Law

Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition Winners:
Second Runner Up:
Marvis Barnes and Sade Ojediran
University of IL

First Runner up:
Dibora Berhanu and Jason Beasley
John Marshall Law School

First Place:
Kandice Harris and Johanne Verpil
Loyola University

Best Oralist:
Johanne Verpil
Loyola University

Best Respondent Brief:
Tyler Suellinger
CJ Herbert
Michigan State

Best Petitioner Brief:
Marvis Barnes
Sade Ojediran
University of IL

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