University Community

OHIO students attend National Black Pre-Law Conference at Harvard University

For the first time, Ohio University students attended the National Black Pre-Law Conference and Law Fair. Eight members of the Ohio University chapter of the National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA) traveled to this year’s conference at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Over this three-day conference, students had the opportunity to meet with faculty and admissions staff from law schools around the country, participate in workshops and mock classes, hear from practicing attorneys and judges, and network with people in the profession.  The conference seeks to “provide a powerful forum to help increase the numbers of excellent, strategic and competitive African-American law school applicants, students, and graduates nationwide.”

The students met other members of the National Black Law Students Association throughout the weekend. This included National Chair Jarrius Adams, Northeast Regional Chair Fontaine Chambers, and multiple Executive Members from law school chapters of NBLSA. They also heard testimonials from JD candidates and lawyers on the important part that NBLSA had in shaping their sense of community throughout law school.


OHIO students at the National Black Pre-Law Conference
Left to Right: Hannah Louck, Mackenzie Bastain, Naima Miller, Raziya Croom, Sariah Landers, Shywann Horne, National Chair Jarrius Adams, Laila Perry, and Aurora Parker

After attending Thursday evening’s opening plenary, students began their first full day at the conference by attending a tour of Harvard Law School and a mock law school class led by Harvard Law School Professor, Ronald S. Sullivan Jr. This class gave students an opportunity to practice the Socratic method, a teaching method commonly used in law school, while discussing the notable Terry v Ohio (1968) case. Attendees also had the opportunity to ask Professor Sullivan about admissions advice and attending Harvard.


Harvard Law Professor Ronald S. Sullivan Jr. and OU NBLSA President Hannah Louck pose at the conference
Harvard Law Professor Ronald S. Sullivan Jr. and OU NBLSA President Hannah Louck

Over these two days, students heard from dozens of guest speakers from across the country. This also included workshops on personal statements and diversity statements, legal writing and paying for law school. The conference included a variety of panels, such as an affirmative action townhall discussion. Additionally, the law fair provided students with the opportunity to connect with over a hundred law schools and legal non-profits.

Hannah Louck, President of the Ohio University chapter of NBLSA, shared that “this is the first conference the organization has attended since its return to campus at the beginning of this school year” and expressed hopes that “this first conference trip will pave the path for more students to attend in the future.”

“This was an incredible opportunity for members of Ohio University NBLSA to network with some of the nation’s great legal leaders,” said Larry Hayman, Esq. director of engagement and pre-law program at the Center for Law, Justice & Culture and Center for Advising, Career & Experiential Learning, who serves as the group’s advisor.  “Students on the trip came back even more excited about the prospect of entering the legal profession.”

December 11, 2023
Staff reports