Get to Know: BLSA

Even though the VLS community is spread far and wide, we want to introduce you to people within our community so you can get to know them better.

In honor of Black History Month, we want to introduce the VLS Black Law Student Association’s executive board.


Elijah Freeman, President

My name is Elijah Freeman. I am a 2L JD’22 student here at VLS. I also have the pleasure of being the President of BLSA. I am from Prince George’s County Maryland and attended the University of Maryland, College Park as an undergraduate. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in a legal career. When I am not in class, I like to hang with friends, write stories/create comics/anything creative, watch movies and binge television shows.

Robert Baker, Vice President

Robert Baker is from Atlanta, Georgia. He attended Presbyterian College (“PC”) after being offered a scholarship to play NCAA Division I football. While at PC, Robert majored in both History and Political Science with a minor in pre-law studies. He was also active on PC’s campus—serving as a member of the Honor Council, Student Life Council, Multicultural Affairs Committee, and Bluefish Student Ministry. With the little spare time law school provides, Robert enjoys fitness exercises, watching stand-up comedy, and reflecting. Lastly, he lives by the motto: “You don’t know what you don’t know until you don’t know.”

Caresse Duru, Secretary

Caresse is a second-year law student from Houston, TX. She received her BA in 2014 with a major in Communication Disorders and Sciences from Baylor University (Sic ‘Em Bears!). For several years, she provided pediatric speech therapy to children with disabilities. She is passionate about public service and mentorship. During the summer after 1L year, she worked for Texas RioGrande Legal Aid. Caresse hopes to practice as a lawyer in the public interest sector. In addition to being BLSA’s secretary, she is a VLS Student Ambassador. In her spare time, she loves to watch TED talks and try new recipes.

Diarra Raymond, Treasurer

I am a second-year law student at Vermont Law School pursuing a JD and a Master of Arts in Restorative Justice. I graduated from Texas Woman’s University with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with an Emphasis in Law and minors in English and Applied Psychology in May 2019. I am serving as a Staff Editor on the Vermont Law Review, and was recently elected Editor in Chief for Volume 46. I am also the treasurer for both the Black Law Students Association and the Christian Law Fellowship. When I’m not in class or doing homework, I’m usually binge-watching Netflix, reading a book, or learning to play the guitar.

Chianna Hart, Parliamentarian

Chianna Hart is currently a second-year law student at Vermont Law School. She was born in Chicago, IL, but grew up in Detroit, Michigan. Chianna obtained her BA degree from Xavier University of Louisiana in 2015 with a major in Political Science and a minor in Sociology. She interned for Innocence Project in New Orleans, LA, where she did post-conviction work for wrongful convictions. She received a certificate for her work on an exoneration case. After graduation, she worked for the State of Indiana as a Case Manager. In 2019, she quit her job to pursue her legal career at Vermont Law School. During her fall semester of 2019, she studied abroad in Tel Aviv, Israel. This eye-opening experience changed her perception of the world. She hopes to spend her third year studying abroad in France. She is a member of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity and the Black Law Student Association (BLSA). She is the 2020-2021 Parliamentarian of Vermont Law School BLSA chapter. In her spare time, Chianna loves blogging, interior design, and anything fashion. Her interests are in Entertainment Law and Family Law. Chianna also desires to start her own law firm one day.

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