Southwestern's BLSA Chapter Triumphs at Regional Convention
With a solid history of strong performances at the Black Law Student Association's regional and national competitions, Southwestern's chapter excelled at the recent 2010 Western Regional BLSA Convention in San Francisco. Second-year students Danielle Doucet and Yasmin Youssef (pictured above) took Second Place and Youssef was named Best Oral Advocate at the convention's moot court competition. Southwestern's chapter also won recognition as Western Region BLSA Chapter of the Year and Calvin Lowery was named Western Region BLSA Board Member of the Year.
Coached by Professor Tara Walters, Doucet and Youssef competed against teams from throughout California in the Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition. The problem they argued focused on two appellate issues involving the constitutionality of a search and seizure case as well as the Federal Post Release Supervision Enhancement Act.
"Professor Walters really pushed us to be thoroughly prepared through practice, research, practice and more research," Youssef said. "Also, our team dynamic was great."
Doucet added, "We had great BLSA alumni judges for our practice rounds who gave us very useful comments on how to improve our arguments." In March, the duo will argue the same problem at the Nationals in Boston.
According to BLSA President Joy Terrell regarding the Chapter of the Year award, the organization's goal for this academic year was to be the best chapter it could be, but she was not thinking about awards. "I wanted to help make BLSA an organization that could noticeably impact our school in a positive way through our participation in various regional and national competitions, and other endeavors such as our clinic training, mentoring programs, our fundraising efforts for Haiti, and various social events," Terrell said. "It's great to know that we have been able to bring all sorts of students together, and that we've represented our school well. To be acknowledged for it as Western Region Chapter of the Year is just icing on the cake!"
Third-year PLEAS student Calvin Lowery serves as Executive Director on BLSA's Western Regional Board; the Western Region of BLSA serves all of the law schools located in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. "I loved having an opportunity to work with students from around the country in a collaborative effort to make a difference," Lowery shared, upon being named Board Member of the Year. "We worked hard this year to be active in the community, to increase the presence of minorities in law school, and to assist all law school students with securing post graduate employment."