After the recent decline in the number of Black students at the University’s Law School, students are working to counter the trend by reviving the Black Undergraduate Law Association.
LSA senior Erika Ross, BULA’s president, hopes to the revitalized organization will encourage more Black students to pursue careers in law and related fields. BULA had been dormant on campus since 2010, but Ross hopes its return will facilitate future minority growth in the pre-law field.
Ross added that people seem to be generally unaware of the obstacles Black students face in applying to law schools, and, simultaneously, many Black students are unfamiliar with the resources available to them. She said BULA will bring that awareness to campus, both for those directly affected and for the rest of the campus community.
In addition to other resources and activities, BULA will provide members with LSAT prep and host panel discussions with relevant speakers.
Ross said the group plans to reach out to the community in a broad sense, by welcoming students of all backgrounds. She noted that this year’s founders are actively seeking new membership, something previous attempts at bringing BULA back to campus seemed to lack.
LSA senior Brianna Wilson said she often feels lonesome as a Black student pursuing a career in the legal industry.
“I really thought that I was the only one. I knew I wasn’t, but it felt like it,” Wilson said. “It would be nice to actually come together and see who like you is doing the same thing, and then you can talk about your process together.”
Though the number of Black students at the law school is low according to recent data, Wilson doesn’t feel like that puts her at a disadvantage.
“If you look at the numbers and see that a lot of people like yourself don’t get picked, I guess that can be slightly discouraging, but I don’t think about it so much because I am confident in my abilities,” Wilson said.
LSA junior Jehan Jawad, herself an aspiring attorney, said she thinks an increase in minority pre-law clubs will help encourage minority participation in this career path.
“I don’t think there is an adequate amount of programs to help minorities interested in law school. I want to help share my story as a way to enlighten women of color to go into this practice.”