U.Va. law students to serve on national law association board

Executive members to support organization at local, national level

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Manson, Redmond, Biemkpa and Stokes (not pictured) will serve as NBLSA leaders during the 2015-16 year.

Four University Law students will serve on the executive board of the National Black Law Students Association this year.

NBLSA is a national organization founded in 1968 at the New York University Law School whose primary purpose is “to articulate and promote the needs and goals of Black law students to effectuate change in the legal community,” according to the NBLSA website.

Made up of more than 6,000 members, the NBLSA spans the country and is affiliated with six countries. The organization is split into six different regions, with each region hosting its own conferences in addition to national events.

One of the four University students appointed, second-year Law student Charis Redmond, will serve as the National Programming Specialist. In this position, Redmond will work closely with the Director Counterpoint to ensure all events held by NBLSA run smoothly.

“NBLSA is an inclusive community, a family, that sympathizes with the experience of an individual and where they come from,” Redmond said. “Some people have misconceptions thinking we are exclusive based on the color of your skin or where you grew up, but we are open and accepting, and that is what I try to push and get people to understand.”

The NBLSA reaches its members on a local level, so what happens at the national level is able to affect the entire association across chapters, Redmond said.

“[I like] getting to know the people, establishing that network, and also giving back, so that we can help other people do the same once they are in the position we are,” Redmond said.

Third-year Law student Danielle Stokes will serve under the Director of the Frederick Douglas Moot Court by the National Board. Like Redmond, Stokes will link the NBLSA’s national level to its local levels, serving as a liaison between the National Director and the Regional Directors for moot court competition.

Another part of her role is to oversee the logistical aspects of events such as the NBLSA’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Convention — which Stokes has attended for the past two years.

“During the convention, it will be my job to ensure that the competitors are [aware] of what they need to do and where they need to be,” Stokes said.

Depending upon the position, appointment to the NBLSA can be fairly competitive, with certain applicants requiring approval from the majority of the National Board, Stokes said.

Through her involvement, Stokes said she looks forward to maintaining the prestige of national competition and implementing improvements of her own to enrich the experience for competitors.

Third-year Law student Renee Manson and third-year Law student Josephine Biemkpa will also serve on the national board this year as the National Director of Frederick Douglass Moot Court and the National Director of Membership, respectively.

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