Dave Dambreville:Vice chair of National Black Law Students Association

First impressions can make or break a deal. As a corporate salesman at AT&T for nearly eight years, Dave Dambreville, Penn State Law senior, knows that to be true. Having lived most of his life in New York City, he imagined attending a law school in the city. However, after his first visit to Penn State Law, the positive experience convinced him to leave the city and head for State College, Pa.

“Penn State wasn’t even on my radar,” Dambreville said. “My pre-law adviser suggested I apply to a school outside of the city and mentioned Penn State. So I applied and got accepted. I didn’t have any preconceptions about the school. But when I actually visited Penn State Law, the dialogue that I had with students and professors was unlike that of any other school I had visited.”

Deciding to attend Penn State Law has been one of the best choices I’ve ever made for my legal career,” said Dambreville, who was recently elected vice chair of the National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA), the largest student-run nonprofit organization in the United States with nearly 6,000 members.

Hooked from day one

From his first day of classes when then BLSA president Ashante Kirby, a 2011 graduate, greeted him by name, Dambreville was hooked on learning more about the Black Law Students Association (BLSA). “That was my first introduction to BLSA. I ended up going to one of their academic workshops on briefing and outlining which was very beneficial. During my second semester, I became more active in the local BLSA chapter, was made the 1L class representative, and helped to plan some of the basic programs like movie nights,” said Dambreville.

In 2011, after attending the NBLSA regional convention in Baltimore, Dambreville was appointed the Mid-Atlantic regional director of communications. His responsibilities included disseminating information about job opportunities, scholarships, and academic workshops in the region. “I really got to see the inner workings of the organization without being too hands on. I realized that NBLSA provides a lot of opportunities, not just for minority students but members in general, and that inspired me to want to have a greater role with the organization.”

After holding the position as regional director of communications for a year, Dambreville was elected the national vice chair of NBLSA in March at the national convention in Washington, D.C. In this capacity, he serves as the internal manager and the overseer of intra-board relations exercising general executive authority over NBLSA’s business and activities; ensures that the advocacy initiatives and programs reflect NBLSA’s core principles, and serves as the ex-officio member of all committees.

His role includes ensuring good financial health for the organization by attracting sponsors and fostering relationships. As division lead for NBLSA, Dambreville approves all communications involving diversity in terms of academic workshops, scholarship, job opportunities and then disseminates throughout the organization. On the advocacy front, Dambreville said that NBLSA’s focus will be on fair voter registration laws and funding for higher education.

“One of the biggest misconceptions is that NBLSA is only for African-American students. Students no matter what ethnic background can join. Benefits of membership, both at the local and national level, include the opportunity to participate in academic competitions specifically set aside for NBLSA members including the Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition.

Two of Dambreville’s senior classmates, Teleicia Rose and Cara Sherman, are also serving on the Executive Board of NBLSA. Rose serves as the national director of programming. Her duties include developing and evaluating national programs consistent with NBLSA’s mission and chairing the program team. She is also in charge of the Joint Leadership Retreat, the Annual Cora T. Walker Inspirational Breakfast, the Charles Hamilton Houston Leadership Retreat and all the panels and workshops at NBLSA's National Convention. Sherman serves as the national director of the Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition and oversees the six regional competitions and coordinates the national competition working closely with the problem writers and actively seeking judges for the competition.
 

Contacts: 
Last Updated June 19, 2012