Stetson University

Black Law Students Association

About

Welcome to Stetson University College of Law's Black Law Students Association!

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Stetson University College of Law's Black Law Students Association (BLSA) is a student organization committed to supporting African-Americans and the broader community throughout law school and within the legal profession. Stetson BLSA maintains a proud tradition of service and assistance that spans over 20 years at Stetson University College of Law.

Stetson BLSA is a member of the Southern Regional Black Law Students Association (SRBLSA) and the larger National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA). BLSA consistently provides academic, professional and personal resources for its members as well as the opportunity for students to make significant contributions to the Stetson and Tampa Bay communities. Membership and participation in BLSA is open to all Stetson students regardless of race, gender, orientation, or ethnicity. BLSA is dedicated to enhacing the student experience of African-American students at Stetson, as well as the general student body and community.

Current members, alumni, and future members are all encouraged to participate in BLSA activities.

If you have questions or concerns, please email blsa@law.stetson.edu.

Mission Statement

The purpose of the Black Law Students Association is to achieve the following objectives:

  • Articulate and promote the professional needs and goals of the African-American student body
  • Foster and encourage professional competence
  • Focus upon the relationship between African-American students and attorneys to the American legal structure
  • Instill in the African-American attorney and law student a greater sense of awareness and commitment to the needs of the African-American community
  • Influence the legal community to bring about a meaningful change that meets the needs of the African-American community
  • Promote recruitment and retention of African-American students and faculty

Why Join NBLSA/BLSA?

As a member of NBLSA/BLSA you are part of an established and esteemed organization that has numerous benefits! These benefits include:

  • Unparalleled networking opportunities with other law students and practicing attorneys through events such as the Diversity Picnic, Survival of the Fittest, etc.
  • Subscriptions to and publishing opportunities with NBLSA's newsletter "Fourteenth Amendment"
  • Leadership positions on the national and/or regional executive boards
  • Opportunities to mentor minority youths from local middle schools, high schools, and colleges throughout Tampa Bay
  • Access to books, outlines, and academic materials from senior members and alumni
  • Guidance on Test Preparation and Professional Development from faculty and staff

As a member, you are also entitled to participation in any of our regional or national activities including:

  • National and regional job fairs
  • National and regional academic retreats
  • National and regional convention
  • Participation in prestigious Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial and Frederick Douglass Moot Court advocacy competitions

Additionally, NBLSA/BLSA members receive free membership to the National Bar Association.

NBLSA/BLSA members are also eligible to apply for NBLSA Scholarships!

History

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 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.

Officers

President 
Keyara Franklin 

Vice President
Alexandria Lewis 

Treasurer
Cassandra Kline 

Secretary
Tai Lowry 

Historian
Ariana Brooks 

Parliamentarian
Stanton Fears 

Chaplain
Yogita Mohan 

Faculty Advisor
Professor Darryl C. Wilson

Photos

2010-2011 Executive Board

BLSA Executive Board 2010-2011

Three attendees at Diversity Lunch in the Great Hall

Diversity Lunch in the Great Hall

Attendees at 2009 NAACP Dinner Event

2009 NAACP Dinner Event

Fall 2009 Welcome Dinner group picture at LeRoy Selmon's

Fall 2009 BLSA Welcome Dinner at LeRoy Selmon's

Participants at Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade in St. Petersburg, FL

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade, St. Petersburg

Attendees posing for picture at table at Professor Appreciation Banquet 2007
Professor Appreciation Banquet 2007

Professor holding award standing next to student at Professor Appreciation Banquet 2007
Professor Appreciation Banquet 2007

Group of individuals sitting and standing in front of projector screen and computers
Professor Appreciation Banquet 2007

Tabling for Valentine's Day Candy Gram Drive 2007
Valentine's Day Candy Gram Drive 2007

Speakers at the Survival of the Fittest 2006
Survival of the Fittest 2006

Attendees pose for picture at the Survival of the Fittest 2006
Survival of the Fittest 2006

Group of individuals sitting at tables at Alumni Brunch 2006
Alumni Brunch 2006

Speaker at Alumni Brunch 2006
Alumni Brunch 2006

Participants at Martin Luther King Day Parade 2006
Martin Luther King Day Parade 2006

Participants walking through the street on Martin Luther King Day Parade 2006
Martin Luther King Day Parade 2006

Group picture outside Stetson University College of Law's courtyard for Ebony Scholars 2005
Ebony Scholars 2005

Judge Stringer holding award next to speaker at Judge Stringer Dedication 2005
Judge Stringer Dedication 2005

Volunteers holding voting signs outside at Voter Registration 2004
Voter Registration 2004

Volunteers tabling outside for Voter Registration 2004
Voter Registration 2004

Attendees at Night of Soul 2003
Night of Soul 2003

Singer with microphone at Night of Soul 2003
Night of Soul 2003

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