Just before the United States was upended by the coronavirus public health emergency, two officers from the Hispanic Law Students Association represented LSU Law at the National Latina/o Law School Association National Conference in San Francisco on March 5-7.
LSU Law students Sam Velasquez and Cynthia Davila attended the NLLSA conference, at which Velasquez was elected Director of Membership for the national organization that has some 175 law schools represented in its membership, including LSU Law.
“The greatest benefit of attending the NLLSA Conference was the ability to network with other Latino Law Students from across the U.S.,” says Velasquez, a second-year law student. “I was able to connect and see many different law school experiences among the varying law schools. It also helped to bounce ideas off each other and see how they are pursuing their goals throughout law school. I had a great experience and made new friends along the way.”
Along with networking opportunities, the conference included a wide variety of seminars and panel discussions that Velasquez and Davila attended. Among those they found particularly beneficial were “Latinx Leadership In-House,” “Networking Your Way To Your Dream Job,” “Pathways to the Bench” and “Empowering Latinas in the Law.”
“One of my favorite speakers was Paulina Vera, an Immigration Attorney who resides in Washington D.C.,” says Davila, a second-year law student from Lake Worth, Florida. “She created a platform ‘Hermanas in the Law’ on Instagram, which I came across my 1L year. For me it became a resource for finding emotional support, learning more about law school, and learning about internship opportunities. Getting to meet her and listening to her in person was priceless.”
HLSA recently elected officers, with Velasquez being elected president and Davila being elected vice president. Together, they hope to increase the organization’s membership and presence at LSU Law through continued engagement, additional events and social outreach.
“I hope to advance this organization by planning more events and hosting socials to create a family-like community,” says Davila. “I want all Latinos on our campus to be able to come together, to see HLSA as a safe space, and enjoy each other’s company. I hope this organization can also attract more Latinos to the law school.”
HLSA currently has about 20 members and hosts about six annual events. The organization is seeking additional members, and LSU Law students interested in joining can get more details by emailing the organization at email@example.com. Additional information about the organization can also be found on its website.