UPDATE: On Thursday, March 9, 2017 in Houston, Texas, Maryland Carey Law's BLSA Thurgood Marshall National Trial Team successfully made it through three preliminary rounds of the National Black Law Students Association's (NBLSA) Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition for the second time in six years. This year’s national team, represented by 2Es Zara Thomas, Jhonell Campbell, Courtney Bennett, and Brian Gordon was praised by competition judges and opposing teams for their preparation, professionalism, and advocacy skills.
Following their competition success, the coaches and students are looking forward to continued engagement with the local Maryland Bar and BLSA to provide additional resources for diverse students who are interested in trial advocacy. The Thurgood Marshall National Trial Team would like to thank its captain, Jazmine Dorsey '17, coaches, Wayne Williams, Derrick Milburn '13, and Trevonne Walford '15, and all of the BLSA members, local practitioners, donors, faculty members, students, and alumni who supported the team. The team would like to express its profound gratitude to The Honorable Wanda Keyes Heard from the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, '82; The Honorable Sakeenah Graham from the U.S. Department of Agriculture; State's Attorney for Baltimore County, Scott Shellenberger, Esq.; Michelle Wilson, Esq., '04; Jamar Brown, Esq., '11; Aaron DeGraffenreidt, Esq., '12; Letam Duson, Esq., '13; Revee Walters, Esq., '11; and Sakkara Blanchard, Esq., '14, who served as judges during the team's preparation for the Regional and National Mock Trial Competitions.
Representing Maryland Carey Law’s Black Law Students Association (BLSA), the Thurgood Marshall National Trial Team (TMNTT) advanced through several rounds of mock trial arguments February 15-19, 2017 to earn the chance to compete in the National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA) Mock Trial Competition next month. The Team, comprised of 3L Jazmine Dorsey and 2E Jhonell Campbell representing the plaintiff, and 2Es Zara Thomas and Brian Gordon representing the defense, were among the highest ranking competitors during the regional trials held in Pittsburgh.
The three-day long event, part of the 49th Annual Mid-Atlantic Region of the National Black Law Students Association’s Convention, included teams from chapters in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. TMNTT members vied before a packed ceremonial courtroom of attendees and peers from competing teams for the final round, finishing in second place by a very close margin. The top two teams for each of the NBLSA regions automatically advance to the National Convention in Houston Texas, March 8-12, 2017 to compete for the title of National Champion.
The National Black Law Students Association is a national organization formed to articulate and promote the needs and goals of Black law students to effectuate change in the legal community. As one of the largest student-run organizations of its kind in the U.S. for Black law students, NBLSA has thousands of members across America and is also comprised of more than 200 chapters and affiliates from six countries. Each year, the organization holds an annual convention to engage in legal activism to prepare new generations of Black lawyers to effectuate change.
In addition to Dorsey (team captain), Campbell, Thomas, and Gordon, the 2016-2017 TMNTT includes 2E Courtney Bennett, 2L Tokunbo Ibitoye, and 3L Rehana Bacchus. Wayne P. Williams, of WPWillams Law Office, serves as head coach and two assistant coaches include alumni Derrick Milburn ’13 and Trevonne Walford ’15. The Team is supported by a host of alumni who generously volunteer their time as judges and mentors when preparing for competition.