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Sun, 11.17.1968

The National Black Law Students Association is Formed

*The National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA) is celebrated on this date in 1968. NBLSA is a nationwide organization formed to articulate and promote the needs and goals of black law students and effectuate change in the legal community.

1968, Algernon Johnson Cooper Jr. founded the first Black American Law Students Association at the New York University Law School. In 1983, BALSA revised its name, and the word "American" was deleted to encompass all blacks, including those not of American nationality. Later, the word "National" was added to reflect the organization's national expansion, which now includes representation in the law schools of forty-eight states and Puerto Rico.

The headquarters of NBLSA is in Washington, D.C. Organized into six regions (Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southern, Mid-West, Rocky Mountain, and Western Region), the organization has over 200 chapters and is present in all but a few of the nation's accredited law schools, as well as unaccredited law schools. As the largest law student organization in the country with over 6,000 members, NBLSA includes chapters or affiliates in six countries, including the Bahamas, Nigeria, and South Africa. NBLSA encourages the development of talented, socially conscious lawyers of tomorrow.

NBLSA helped create the Black Law Students Association of Canada (BLSAC), the National Latino/Latina Student Association (NLLSA), the National Association of Law Students with Disabilities (NALSD), and the National Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (NAPALSA). The organization holds an annual convention to engage in legal activism while preparing new generations of black lawyers to "effectuate change." The Frederick Douglass Moot Court and Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competitions are held during its Annual Convention.

The association has ties with the National Bar Association, the Council on Legal Education Opportunity, The National Black Alliance, and the National Black Leadership Roundtable.

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