Leslee Matthews serves as the 2016-2017 Western Regional Chair for National Black Law Students Association (“NBLSA”). In this role, she exercises general executive authority over the business, activities, and initiatives of the Western Region of NBLSA, which includes Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. In addition, she presides over the operations of the Western Regional Board.
Ms. Matthews is a native of Kihei, Hawai’i. She graduated from Texas Woman’s University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. Upon graduation, she worked at the Fort Worth Police Department as the Family Violence Specialist. Ms. Matthews furthered her education and graduated with high honors from the University of Texas at Arlington with a Master of Science in Social Work. Ms. Matthews was inducted as a member of the Phi Alpha Honor Society for academic excellence in her graduate degree program. Upon graduation, she had the blessing of working as the Academic Counselor on the Road to College Team at Uplift Summit International Preparatory, the #22 Best High School in the Nation as ranked by US News and World Report. There she saw her scholars, who were majority minority, economically disadvantaged, first generation college students, accomplish great things such as 100% graduation rate, 100% college acceptance rate and facilitation of the largest day of service with the NCAA Men’s Final Four service initiative. After working in law enforcement and education, she saw first hand the need to champion the causes of underserved people and those without voice as a legal advocate, which propelled her to pursue law school.
She is currently a 2L student at the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai’i, where she is Vice-President of Richardson’s BLSA Chapter. She is also a member of Advocates for Public Interest Law, Lawyers Against Sexual Violence AND Law For Youth Empowerment. Prior to joining NBLSA’s national board, Ms. Matthews served as Convention Coordinator for the Western Region, National Black Law Students Association. .
In addition to her organizational leadership, Ms. Matthews has interned for a Hawai’i State Representative, served on the Strategic Alliance Committee for the Urban League Greater Dallas Young Professionals, as well as being matched as Big Sister to the most awesome Little Sister for 6 years with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Ms. Matthews recently took part in a Study Abroad Program with Santa Clara University School of Law in partnership with the University of Technology Sydney, Faculty of Law in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. With this program, she studied Comparative Aspects of Social Justice and Refugee Law. As a participant in this program, she was able to meet and collaborate with leaders in various social justice movements such as judges, lawyers, non-government and nonprofit organizations, professors and students.
Ms. Matthews loves to travel to explore new places and cultures. Ms. Matthews is an advocate for social change, social justice and equality by connecting the community with resources and resources with the community. She is a proponent for empowerment through education, knowledge and service. As a lifelong learner, she is passionate about further developing her leadership, interpersonal, critical thinking, and professional skills to enhance her life and the lives of others.
Ms. Matthews is ecstatic to serve as Chair of the Western Region, reigning NBLSA Region of the Year. This year’s WRBLSA them is West Excellence: Building On The Best To Foster A Legacy Of Strong Advocates and Communities For A Better Tomorrow, Today. Together all of NBLSA’s regions and the National Executive Board will accomplish great things as one NBLSA, with one vision and one mission on our road to 50 years of service!