Black Law Students Association
Welcome to Stetson University College of Law's Black Law Students Association!
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 enhancing 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 [email protected].
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 a free membership to the National Bar Association.
NBLSA/BLSA members are also eligible to apply for NBLSA Scholarships!
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 an 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.
Professor Darryl C. Wilson