Until recently, Wyoming was one of only two states without a chapter of the National Black Law Students Association. UW law student Debra Bullock started a chapter this winter, in part to be able to participate in the organization’s Nelson Mandela International Negotiations Competition.
She and her classmate Sarah Davis traveled to Brooklyn for the contest in March. Both were named “National Best Negotiators,” and made it to the semifinal round.
But Bulluck’s plans for the chapter reach further. She is graduating this year and hopes to leave a support system for other law students of color. She said all law students would benefit from an academic environment that enables students to consider the legal system from diverse perspectives.
“Looking at the law from non-white eyes is important for all people. Because you don’t know who your clients are going to be, you don’t know who your co-workers are going to be. But there is a lens – and a voice through that lens – that is often forgotten,” Bullock said.
The chapter is situated under the existing Multicultural Law Students Association, which Bulluck and other students helped revive during her first year. The UW law school has only about 75 students per class, and Bulluck said that makes it hard to keep these organizations going. Before she graduates this year, she’s looking for students to take her place.
“We have some brilliant undergraduate students who are thinking about law school, or who may be nervous about it, who maybe are students of color, who have no idea that there’s support here, that they too could come to this law school,” Bulluck said.
Bulluck hopes the organization will inspire current and future students of color at the law school and connect them with a national network. The last remaining state without a Black Law Students Association is Alaska, which does not have its own law school.