Post date: March 2, 2004
The Harvard Law School Black Law Students Association and Professor Charles J. Ogletree Jr. are hosting members of the Congressional Black Caucus at the 21st annual BLSA spring conference entitled “Aggressive Advocacy: Our Role in the Courtroom, the Corporation, and the Halls of Congress Fifty Years After Brown v. Board of Education.” The three-day conference will begin on March 5.
“I think I can speak for the other chairs when I say this conference has been a labor of love for us,” said second-year student Walter Mosley, who is a conference co-chair along with second-year students Jia Cobb and Mercedes Davis. “As one of the largest student-run conferences at Harvard Law School, a lot of time and energy goes into making sure this conference represents the excellence people have grown to expect from BLSA. The conference chairs have made a concerted effort to have a diverse set of viewpoints represented in its panels. Whether you are right or left or somewhere in between, you will enjoy the intellectual debate and discourse at this conference.”
One of the conference’s highlights will be the CBC town hall meeting at 9 a.m. on March 6. The meeting will provide the caucus with an opportunity to discuss their agenda for the Democratic National Convention, as well as to reflect on the legal and political achievements of African-Americans in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision.
Members of Congress scheduled to attend include Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, chair of CBC; Rep. William J. Jefferson, chair of CBC Foundation; Rep. John Conyers Jr.; Rep. Bobby Scott; Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick; Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones; Rep. Diane Watson; and Rep. Artur Davis. Both Jefferson and Davis are Harvard Law graduates.
The spring conference also provides BLSA with the opportunity to connect with the greater metropolitan Boston community. A portion of the conference proceeds will go to a group of Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School students to enable them to attend their annual Black College Tour. Harvard BLSA also offers conference scholarships for high school students belonging to the Cambridge NAACP, the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts, the Parent Child Computer Learning Foundation and those attending Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School.
“BLSA students do more than just attend classes in Cambridge,” said co-chair Davis. “We try to reach out and help others in our community. Our intent in inviting high school students to the law school is to encourage them to attend college and possibly even law school.”
This conference will mark the debut of Ogletree’s new book, All Deliberate Speed. Signed copies will be available throughout the conference. Additional conference highlights include a keynote speech by Constance Rice, director of the Advancement Project Los Angeles; alumni luncheon speaker HLS graduate Deirdre Stanley, senior vice president and general counsel of Thomson Corporation; Dr. Genna Rae McNeil, professor and author of the seminal book on Charles Hamilton Houston entitled Groundwork; and “Behind the Black Robe,” a panel on the black judiciary featuring Massachusetts Trial Court Judge Marie Jackson, Michigan District Court Judge Julian Cook Jr., Texas District Court Judge Vanessa Gilmore, Virginia District Court Judge Gerald Bruce Lee, D.C. District Court Judge Reggie Walton, and Justice Robert Preston Young Jr. of the Michigan Supreme Court. Jackson and Young are graduates of Harvard Law. In addition to Ogletree Harvard Law professors Heather Gerken, Randall Kennedy and David Wilkins will participate and Dean Elena Kagan will offer closing remarks.
“This event is a must-attend for those interested in the cross sections of business, politics, and the law,” said Cobb. “We hope the entire law school community will attend some of the panels and be enriched by the collection of dynamic speakers we have assembled.”
The conference is sponsored by over 30 major law firms from across the country and will also feature career panels for legal jobs in both the private and public sphere, as well as information on fellowships and judicial clerkships. For registration information and conference details, please visit www.harvardblsaconference.com.