February 22, 2024

The Black Law Students Association (BLSA) at The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law (Catholic Law) sponsored a panel discussion the evening of Wednesday, February 21, as part of its celebration of Black History Month. Held in the Walter A. Slowinski Courtroom, the event, entitled “Black Excellence in the Legal Field,” brought to campus five prominent attorneys to discuss their respective experiences as legal practitioners from the African-American community.

BLSA panelists

The evening began with introductory remarks by BLSA president Miranda Turner (3L), who welcomed attendees before yielding the podium to Emani Johnson (3L), BLSA Black History Month Chairperson, who served as the panel’s moderator. Johnson introduced the evening’s speakers: Krystal J. Brumfield, Associate Administrator for the Office of Government-wide Policy at the General Services Administration; Marjorie Fields Harris ’95, Assistant Director of External Affairs for the Office of State and Community Energy Programs; Carl Hobbs ’16, Senior Employment Counsel for the Housing and Urban Development Office of the Inspector General; Melanie Howard-Price, External Affairs Specialist and Co-Chair of the Diversity Committee at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia; and Erica Wright, Assistant General Counsel for the University of the District of Columbia. In addition to discussing career paths, each panelist expanded upon methods to overcome potential feelings of imposter syndrome after entering the legal profession. They also explored the value of both internships and mentorships and how they each relate to expanding a law student’s social and career networks.

BLSA receptionJohnson opened the floor to questions for the paneilsts from the audience. At this point the panelists discussed important qualities in job applicants, such as solid writing skills; flexibility; a clear and concise resume; the need for an applicant to do research on the position they are applying to, as well as other aspects involved in a job search. Wednesday’s event closed with a networking reception in the Louise H. Keelty and James Keelty, Jr. Atrium where students had the opportunity to continue the conversation with the panelists, alumni, and faculty in attendance.

The panelist with members of BLSA

Studentstalkting to Dean Payne

Emani Johnson and Melanie Howard-Price

a group of alumni