Boston University School of Law

April 27, 2007

BLSA Members

Prize Fund Established for BU Black Law Students Association

Several BU Law alumni have established an endowed prize fund to award those students who are most active in the Black Law Students Association. The founders of the award are alumni from the class of 1995: Derrick Sean Cort of Fortress Investment Group; Wendell Taylor of WilmerHale; David Wooten of Duane Morris, LLP and Eugene Holmes of McDermott Will & Emery LLP. The founders welcome gifts from other alumni who wish to help the cause. The fund will be named after Emanuel Hewlett, the first black graduate of the BU School of Law in 1877.

Prize winners will be selected by the Dean on a basis of “intellect, achievement outside of the classroom, character and commitment to community,” said co-founder Wendell Taylor in an e-mail. While the prize fund will reward one student in its first year, Taylor said that he expects each year the fund will increase the number of recipients of the award, which will help students pay for their school expenses.

According to Taylor, the BLSA promotes discussion of the difficult issues “which are so important to providing a broad and robust legal education and producing practitioners who are sensitive to the world in which we live.” He added that BLSA’s forwarding of BU community outreach initiatives, mentorship and career development programs make it an essential part of the BU Law community.

Because of their ambitious efforts, the BU Law chapter of the BLSA has been named "Chapter of the Year" for the past two years running. Their efforts include arranging community service opportunities like “Community Servings”—an organization which prepares meals for those affected by HIV/AIDS in Boston—and participating in fundraisers for leaders like Governor Deval Patrick.

The founders of the award, who were all members of BU Law’s BLSA, created the prize fund to give back to the chapter. “The diversity of thought and experiences not only enriched our legal education, it provided us with the opportunity to make lasting friendships. We wanted to make sure others had the opportunity to have similar experiences."

>>Learn more about BU Law’s BLSA

Reported by Elizabeth Ress