Black Law Students Association (BLSA)

 

BLSA 2014-2015
John E. Green Black Law Students Association 2014-2015

 

HISTORY

The John E. Green chapter of Black Law Students Association (BLSA) is a local chapter for the nationwide organization of the National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA).

In 1968, Algernon Johnson “A.J.” Cooper, former mayor of Prichard Alabama , founded the Black American Law Students Association (BALSA) at the New York University Law School . BALSA’s purpose was to effectuate change in the legal system. The association endeavored to sensitize the law and legal profession to the ever-increasing needs of the Black community. This commitment has never wavered.

In 1983, BALSA revised its name. The word “American” was deleted to encompass all Blacks who were not of American nationality. Later, the word “National” was added to reflect the extent to which the organization had expanded.

The National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA), the largest student-run organization in America , has over 200 chapters at law schools throughout the country. This represents almost every ABA accredited law school, plus several non-accredited law schools. These chapters represent over 6,000 Black law students in six regions which encompass 48 states including Hawaii , and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico . Recently, NBLSA established international links with Black law students in Canada , England and South Africa who decided to model their student organizations after NBLSA.

NBLSA’s societal impact is enormous. In its effort to remain responsive to the needs of the Black community in general and the Black law student in particular, the NBLSA has initiated many worthy programs and is often active in joint-effort programming with other organizations that have goals and objectives analogous to its own.

NBLSA continues to conduct its prestigious Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition and expand its national Adopt-A-School Program. In addition, through its Nelson Mandela Scholarship Program, NBLSA awards six scholarships of over $500.00 each to black law students annually. With emphasis on economic self-help, abolishing apartheid, and forwarding a progressive civil rights position, NBLSA continues its strong commitment to the objectives of the Association. Further, the Association maintains strong ties with the National Bar Association, the National Conference of Black Lawyers, the Council on Legal Education Opportunity , and the National Black Leadership Roundtable.

MISSION

The John E. Green chapter of Black Law Students Association’s mission is to instill in the Black attorney and law student a greater awareness and commitment to the needs of the Black community while influencing the legal community to bring about meaningful changes that positively impact the Black community.

ORGANIZATION PURPOSE

The John E. Green Black Law Student Association at OCU Law is an organization that articulates and promotes professional needs and goals of the Black law students. Membership is open to all students at OCU Law. We strive to instill professional competence in each of our members, while focusing on the relationship of the Black law student and the Black attorney to the American legal structure. BLSA is also committed to providing African American law students with a smooth transition into the legal community and profession by providing tools and resources that ensure a successful law school experience.

OFFICERS

  • President: Taylor Jack
  • Vice-President: Harmonniey Cheadle
  • Secretary: Tasha Fridia
  • Treasurer: Diamond Johnson
  • Historian: Neema Kimathi
  • SBA Reps: Open
  • Community Service Chair: Open
  • Faculty Sponsor: Professor Danné Johnson

RESOURCE LINKS

National Black Lawyer’s Student Association
Alliance for Black Student Professionals
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
National Conference of Black Lawyers
The Congressional Black Caucus

CHAPTER’S PAST ACTIVITIES

  • Annual Taste of Soul (February)
  • Annual Soiree Auction (April)
  • Let’s Talk About It: A Cultural Awareness Forum (Monthly)
  • Ferguson Panel Discussion (September 2014)

CHAPTER CONTACT INFORMATION

blacklawstudentassoc@my.okcu.edu

OCU@nblsa.org