Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2012-01-17


The Black Law Students Association (BLSA) at Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law will host the organization’s southern region convention in Birmingham Jan. 18-22.

About 300 BLSA members from law schools in nine states and Puerto Rico are expected for the convention, which is themed “Advancing to the Next Level, Fulfilling the Dream, and Advocating for the Future.” 

The schedule includes workshops and panel discussions on resume writing, interview skills and other topics, networking receptions and a community service event. Regional rounds of the national Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial and Frederick Douglass Moot Court competitions will be held during the convention.

The convention opens Wednesday evening with a reception at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Participants will spend Thursday morning working at community service projects at Pathways, Inc., Sixteenth Street Baptist Church and Christian Service Mission.

Throughout the convention, the future lawyers will hear from a lineup of speakers representing the legal profession and the judiciary.

Wilcox County district judge Jo Celeste Pettway will keynote a law symposium on Saturday afternoon and retired U.S. district court judge U.W. Clemon will speak at the awards banquet that evening.  Luncheon speakers include Walmart senior vice president for environmental, health and safety compliance Phyllis Harris on Thursday; and Birmingham municipal court judge Tracie A. Todd on Friday.  Birmingham pastor Vanable H. Moody II will lead the Martin Luther King, Jr., prayer breakfast on Saturday.

Most events are held at Birmingham Sheraton.  Finals in the mock trial and moot court competitions will be held on Saturday morning at Samford in Robinson law building.

Convention coordinators are Cumberland BLSA vice president Breauna Peterson, a second-year law student from Birmingham; and BLSA member Caroline W. Douglas, a December Cumberland graduate from North Hills, Calif.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.