Copyright (c) 2007 University of California Hastings College of the Law
Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal
ARTICLE: "PUBLIC INTEREST DRIFT" REVISITED: TRACING THE SOURCES OF SOCIAL CHANGE COMMITMENT AMONG BLACK HARVARD LAW STUDENTS
4 Hastings Race & Poverty L.J. 335
Each year, the Black Law Students Association ("BLSA") at Harvard Law School ("HLS") hosts a "3L-send off." It is an end-of-the-year dinner and awards ceremony, infused with the giddy excitement that feels the same to twenty-somethings in their final weeks of law school as it did when they were studious fifth graders gearing up for summers full of enrichment classes and trips to sleepaway camp. Welcoming the arrival of Cambridge spring with cotton dresses and sandals or light colored khakis and bright polo shirts, the BLSA members who attend the 3L-send off are the image of a lively and familiar extended family in skin tones from ruddy pinks to deep browns. During the slideshow that plays during dinner, they cheer and giggle in recognition of snapshots from their three years at HLS. Across the screen flash images of parties in Boston clubs that could easily be freeze-frames from music videos, sunglass-clad groups of friends on summer ferry rides to Martha's Vineyard, and library study groups huddled in hooded sweatshirts at long wooden tables. All are set to the tune of contemporary R&B and rap music timed to evoke energy, enthusiasm, and nostalgia. When the soul food that is traditional at BLSA events is gone, and empty glasses of red wine atop the white tablecloths foreshadow loosened inhibitions, each graduating BLSA member rises in turn to receive a small gift and takes the podium to address the group with a farewell message.
At the 3L send-off in the spring of ...
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