Am I a "Black" Law Student?

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
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Drake014
Posts: 886
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:22 pm

Re: Am I a "Black" Law Student?

Postby Drake014 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:06 pm

JXander wrote:Next question: is the collective identity of the various members of these organizations relevant to what they do (as a part of the organization)? I can maybe see this being the case for Christian Legal Societies or LGBT legal organizations, but how does this fit for associations like BLSA or even predominantly female groups?


Groups typically deal with issues specific to their group. For instance, the group at my law school often helped throw diversity pipeline programs, hosted diversity outreach events, etc.

People often use these groups because they have an interest in issues affecting those groups. Gay rights, discrimination issues, etc. Consequently, you might join an identity group that you don't actually share the identity of.

I joined the groups mainly so I could put it on my resume (just being bluntly honest). However, in my defense, I did and still do contribute to pipeline programs.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Am I a "Black" Law Student?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:21 pm

JXander wrote:Next question: is the collective identity of the various members of these organizations relevant to what they do (as a part of the organization)? I can maybe see this being the case for Christian Legal Societies or LGBT legal organizations, but how does this fit for associations like BLSA or even predominantly female groups?

Yes, usually. The women's group on my campus was probably the least specific, in that they did a lot of things not specific to women (e.g. info sessions for 1Ls about each prof's exams, running the student-run bookstore), but they also got involved in pipeline stuff that was at least in part aimed at women (e.g. Shadow a Lawyer Day kinds of things). They also liaised with the local women's bar association and tended to sponsor things on stuff like work-life balance. They, and the other student groups, sponsored various "diversity in law" speakers/activities. Some of these were more professionally oriented ("How to break through the glass ceiling in big law" kind of thing, or "what an immigration lawyer does"), others were more substantive legal topics relevant to minority groups and the law (the overrepresentation of AAs in the prison system, Arizona's recent immigration law, battered women's syndrome defense, that kind of thing). Because Indian law is a legal field in a way that "AA law" or "Hispanic law" isn't, quite, the NALSA group did a lot of substantive Indian law things (but also held a Harvest Festival potluck in the fall). These student groups also often organized teams for the specialty bars moot courts.




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