Black Law Students Association Hosts 10th Annual Scholarship Banquet, Presents Awards
The Black Law Students Association (BLSA) recently held its 10th Annual Scholarship Banquet featuring keynote speaker the Hon. Bernice B. Donald of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Members of the BLSA board also conferred special honors and awards to professionals and associations representing a range of legal fields.
- The President’s Award was given to Adrienne Davis, vice provost and the William M. Van Cleve Professor of Law. Davis is renowned for her scholarship and teaching on gender and race relations; theories of justice and reparations; feminist and critical race theory; and law and popular culture. Davis directs the Black Sexual Economies Project at the law school’s Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Work and Social Capital. She also founded and runs the Law & Culture Initiative.
- The Young Alumni Award was given to Tiffany Harper, JD '08. Harper is an associate at Polsinelli PC where she specializes in corporate bankruptcy, as well as restructuring and financial services. She previously served as a law clerk for a federal bankruptcy judge during the height of the national bankruptcy filings. Harper is also the sole associate member of Polsinelli’s National Diversity Committee and serves as president of the Black Women Lawyers' Association of Greater Chicago, Inc.
- Retired Judge Booker T. Shaw received the honor of the Professional Mentorship Award. Shaw currently works as a partner in the Business Litigation Practice Group at Thompson Coburn LLP. He previously served as a judge on the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court. His current practice focuses on complex litigation and appellate matters.
- The Legal Employer Diversity Award went to Husch Blackwell LLP. The firm was cited for believing that a culture of inclusivity and openness enhances its commitment to clients by building a workforce of people with varied backgrounds. Since 2004, the firm has cultivated its own professional enrichment program for female attorneys and clients called True North. The firm also has attorneys who are members of the St. Louis Hispanic Bar Association, Mound City Bar Association, Missouri Asian American Bar Association, and Women Lawyers Association of Greater St. Louis.
- The Outstanding Achievement in Practice Award was given to Kathryn L. Pierce. Pierce is a lecturer in law and a supervising attorney for the law school's Children & Family Advocacy Clinic. She previously was an attorney for the Missouri State Public Defender’s Office and for the St. Louis City Youth Advocacy Unit.
- The final honor, the Outstanding Achievement in Service Award, was conferred to Deanna Atchley, JD/MSW '09. A graduate of both the law school and the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Atchley was one of the founders of the law school’s JD/MSW Society. She has received numerous awards, such as the Frederick Douglas Award, the Jack Garden Humanitarian Award, and the Public Service Law Student of the Year Award. Atchley currently practices labor and employment law in Kansas City.
Since its founding in 1973, Washington University's BLSA chapter has rapidly grown and developed as a student organization committed to the development and support of blacks in the legal profession. BLSA has a long history of using the many talents and strengths of its members to serve both the law school and the St. Louis community. This year's scholarship benefit event was held at Windows on Washington.
Brent Mueller, Spring 2014