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Student Organizations Celebrate Diversity in the Legal Profession

March 07, 2013

Students conferred the law school’s Second Annual Diversity Award upon attorney David M. Rosenblum at a ceremony March 6 that capped a week of events celebrating the varied demographic tapestry within the legal profession and the larger community it serves.

As the legal director of the Mazzoni Center, Rosenblum “is a true humanitarian who works relentlessly on behalf of members of the LGBT community who would otherwise be unrepresented,” said Max Orenstein, a 2L and treasurer of Drexel OUTLaw. “He provides an absolutely critical service here in Philadelphia and across the entire state of Pennsylvania.”

Aneesh Mehta, an associate at Volpe and Koenig and chairman of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division, praised the student leaders for recognizing that diversity in the profession is not limited to ethnicity and said conversations about diversity are very important.

The reception followed a week’s worth of events organized by various student organizations, including the American Constitution Society, Asian Pacific American Law Student Association, Black Law Students Association, the Drexel Brehons, Drexel OUTLaw, the International Law and Human Rights Society, and the Jewish Law Students Association

Earlier in the day, the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association hosted an event featuring leading securities regulations lawyer, Wililam Uchimoto of Stevens and Lee.  Uchimoto discussed international regulations and securities and the issues international public companies face when seeking to become publicly traded companies in the U.S. 

The Black Law Students Association hosted "What Black Men Think: Challenging the Media's Myths About Black Men," which examined how media influence public perceptions of black men. Student moderator Justin M. Bettis, compared U.S. Census Bureau divorce rates, incarceration and college enrollment rates of black men with recent news headlines pointing out that the statistics are not as negative as portrayed in the media.  A panel comprised of Professors Bret Asbury, Chapin Cimino, Donald Tibbs and Kevin Woodson agreed that negative portrayals of black men in news media invoke negative stereotypes of black men among the public.  However, as professors Tibbs and Asbury pointed out, media are just one piece of a larger picture.  The disproportionate ratio of incarceration of black men to white men and destruction of community organizations in the post-civil rights era also significantly contributed to the negative public perceptions of black men we have today, the panelists suggested. 

Among other events earlier in the week, attorney Shelley Grant discussed immigration issues affecting same-sex couples in an event hosted by the Drexel Brehons and Drexel OUTLaw, and a panel of experts discussed international arbitration in an event hosted by the American Constitution Society and the International Law and Human Rights Society