The Black Law Students Association at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law has earned national recognition, taking home Medium Chapter of the Year honors at the 56th Midwest BLSA Regional Convention in early February.
The Midwest BLSA community includes dozens of chapters at law schools from Colorado to Ohio, including nearly all of the schools in the Big Ten conference.
“Our Black Law Students Association isn’t just one of the best in the Midwest, it’s one of the best in the country,” said Indiana Law Dean Christiana Ochoa. “Congratulations to Nashuba Husdon, the executive board, and all who have helped make this chapter such a strong organization.”
Hudson, president of the Indiana Law BLSA chapter, pointed to a number of initiatives that have strengthened the chapter’s reputation.
“One of the core central values that I wanted to instill was to strengthen the foundation of our community,” Hudson said. “We needed to provide programming in order to build that community, but we also needed to provide professional development opportunities to show our students the incredible career paths available to them with a law degree.”
The programming aspect alone is impressive. The BLSA chapter has either hosted, or has plans to host, 28 events during the 2023-24 academic year, including the Law School’s signature social event, the Rapheal M. Prevot, Jr. Barristers’ Ball, in March.
Other events have included student mixers, an annual alumni networking event, with Emeritus Professor Kevin D. Brown as a guest of honor, outlining and final exam preparation workshops, volunteering opportunities, meetings with employers, and more.
“The work our board has put in has simply been phenomenal,” Hudson said, crediting Vice President Samantha Jean, Secretary Jax Smalls, Treasurer Courtney Johnson, Programming Director Ramatou Soumare, Director of Communications Serena Bolden, 1L Representatives Kae Dilworth and Jaelyn Guiton, and former Chief Justice Olivia Hunter with helping to make BLSA such a strong organization.
“We are small, but mighty,” Hudson said. “We’re a small chapter but we’re very forward thinking in terms of what we can do.”
Part of looking ahead means reviewing the past for inspiration. During the mid-2010s, the Indiana Law BLSA Chapter won Midwest Chapter of the Year five consecutive times. That legacy has paved the way for today’s BLSA members, who aspire to create their own lasting impression on the Law School’s history.
“When I was a 1L, I would see all the awards that this chapter has won in the past,” Hudson said. “It’s been an honor representing the 1L class, shadowing previous board members, and now serving as president. I believe we’ve done a phenomenal job of making ourselves recognizable anywhere we go, and I’m hopeful that we will on the national level, too.”