The Ronald J. Freeman Chapter of the Black Law Students Association strives to promote the educational and professional needs and goals of Black law students. We seek to influence the legal community to bring about meaningful change that addresses the needs and concerns of the Black community. Our organization attempts to effectuate these goals by mentoring our members and by bringing our members into contact with practicing attorneys in nearly every legal practice area. Also, our organization sponsors innovative and informative forums, which address current issues in legal practice and general issues that affect the community at large. Our organization has been honored with numerous awards for its participation and leadership in various competitive and social activities.
The National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA), founded in 1968, is a nationwide organization formed to articulate and promote the needs and goals of black law students and effectuate change in the legal community. As the largest student-run organization in the country with over 6,000 members, NBLSA includes chapters or affiliates in six different countries including The Bahamas, Nigeria, and South Africa. NBLSA encourages the development of talented, socially conscious lawyers of tomorrow. NBLSA helped start the Black Law Students Association of Canada (BLSAC), The National Latino/Latina Student Association (NLLSA), National Association of Law Students with Disabilities (NALSD), and The National Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (NAPALSA). The headquarters of NBLSA is located in Washington, D.C.
In 1968, Algernon Johnson Cooper, former mayor of Prichard, Alabama, 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 include 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 Association has ties with the National Bar Association, the Council on Legal Education Opportunity, The National Black Alliance, and the National Black Leadership Roundtable. However, the most important affiliation and duty this organization has is to the black community—nationally and abroad.