University of Oregon Black Law Students Association
(Oregon BLSA) is an affiliate of the National Black
Law Students Association and a member of the Western Region.
We exist to:
- Give guidance, support and direction
to the Black Law students in academic, professional and
social endeavors and help promote their goals.
- To encourage and foster professional
- To focus upon the relationship between
the Black attorney and the American legal structure;
- To help recruit and retain Black Law
students to the University of Oregon Law School;
- To be a positive force of change within
our own community; and
- To acknowledge the common goals
which bond student and professional organizations of color
and aspire to foster relationships with these groups.
NBLSA 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 $500.00 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.
* from the NBLSA