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BLSA Retreat Emphasizes Academic Success

October 07, 2010

The Western Regional Black Law Students Association’s (WRBLSA) Northern Sub-Region Academic Retreat took place at the University of San Francisco School of Law on Sept. 25.

Amarra A. Lee, associate at Farella Braun + Martel LLP, delivers the keynote address.

“We are unifying alumni and professors from Northern Californian law schools to support law students,” said Myshanda V. Upton 3L, WRBLSA academic retreat coordinator. “We believe that academic success in law school is an important aspect of retention.”

The retreat focused on assisting students as they transition into law school and throughout their legal education. It featured different programs for students based on their year in school, including an intensive exam writing workshop, a professionalism workshop, a mini-bar prep course, and sessions on networking and legal research.

Professor Rhonda Magee led a session on how to create life balance and avoid second-year burnout. “By bringing an integrative approach to our law school experiences…we develop a way of handling stress and fatigue that builds on our strengths, lends personal meaning to all that we do, and helps us find greater joy in law and life,” she said.

Vineesha Johnson 1L listens at the WRBLSA retreat.

Isabelle Mussard, who previously worked as a career counselor at UC Hastings College of the Law, delivered a keynote address to second- and third-year students titled “Diversity and its Role in the Workplace.” Mussard continues to mentor students and law school applicants and now serves as a legislative analyst at an Oakland nonprofit.

Amarra A. Lee, an associate at Farella Braun + Martel LLP and chair of the firm’s diversity pipeline program, delivered the lunch keynote address on professionalism and the workplace. Lee was awarded the Farella Braun + Martel Diversity Leadership Award in 2008.