The Next Generation of Caribbean Excellence

This article was contributed by Kahalia Solano-Johnson.

Vice president of CLSA, Kahalia Solano-Johnson (left) and President of CLSA, Claude Crevecoeur

Caribbean Democratic vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris opened the door and NSU Law Caribbean Law Students Association (CLSA) wants you to know that the next generation of Caribbean leaders and lawyers are ready to carry the mantle.

CLSA represents the collective voices of the next generation of leaders and trailblazers in law. This organization directly fosters a sense of community through our member engagement. CLSA strives to increase the number of Caribbean attorneys in law by creating initiatives to help increase bar exam passage rates amongst law students of color. Just like Kamala Harris, who has undoubtedly tapped into her Jamaican roots as an attorney and politician, CLSA members know that our commitment to higher education and service to community combined with our Caribbean backgrounds is a recipe for success.

Kahalia Solano-Johnson

Born and raised in New York City, I represent Trinidad & Tobago as vice president of CLSA.

Claude Crevecoeur

Born and raised in South Florida, Claude Crevecoeur represents Haiti as president of CLSA.

Together, we lead an organization comprised of dynamic and diverse law students from all over the Caribbean islands including Jamaica, Cuba, Dominican Republic.

CLSA’s mission is to foster and encourage academic and professional excellence in law among Caribbean law students. We articulate and promote the goals and objectives of Caribbean law students in South Florida and promote a greater awareness of the civil and political rights of the Caribbean community. We foster and develop relationships with academic and professional organizations, and strive to increase the enrollment of Caribbean law students. We promote the general welfare of Caribbean citizens in South Florida and uphold the honor and integrity of the legal profession both on a local and national level. Lastly, we work to create various networking opportunities for law students interested in areas of business and law.

Our NSU law education equips us with the tools to assess and address the needs of our South Florida community and beyond.

This summer, After the killing of George Floyd, CLSA’s executive board held discussions with leaders of the City of Lauderhill, including Mayor Thurston to suggest initiatives to improve Black lives and support healthy police relations with Lauderhill residents. CLSA is also working on an unprecedented effort to implement the first annual Caribbean Law Symposium at Nova Law, entitled “Music x Law, the Caribbean Edition” to create an innovative platform to educate the public and highlight Caribbean culture.

CLSA is a source of support for all law students, specifically for law students of color. We are strong and resilient, however with prevalent themes of social injustice, political conflicts, and COVID-19 concerns CLSA knows the importance of strengthening and uplifting during tumultuous times. We encourage law students and our greater community to rejuvenate minds and spirits, through the best ways we know how, connecting with others (virtually) and through our music.

One avenue for this is CLSA’s “Rum Punch Hour” a series of virtual happy hours featuring Caribbean Music Artists. Other CLSA events demonstrate our commitment to creating access to academic and professional resources like our upcoming Law + Government panel discussion that will feature prominent South FL Government leaders and attorneys, and a Human Trafficking awareness expert panel discussion. All CLSA events will be virtual until it is safe to resume live events.

Interested in partnering with CLSA? Are you an organization interested in sponsoring or donating to CLSA? Do you align with CLSA’s mission? Then we would love to hear from you! Please contact me at: [email protected]

To learn more about CLSA connect with us on Instagram @nsulawclsa and visit https://www.law.nova.edu/current-students/orgs/clsa/index.html.

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