Black Law Students Association News
Thursday, February 21, 2013
12:15 - 1:30 p.m.
Learn how YOU can be involved through Street Law (for public service credit) or Marshall-Brennan Civil Liberties (for academic credit) and other activities in teaching at Central High School Law and Government Magnet. Current law students involved in the programs and students from Central will share their experiences in these programs, which began in 2007-2008.
Co-sponsored by the: Central High School Partnership, Diversity Committee, Black Law Students Association, and Samuel L. Greenebaum Public Service
Two Mentoring Events that are Happeneing In March, 2012
See the Event Calendar for details
Panel on mentoring sponsored by the Student Bar Association
Wednesday March 7
What’s the difference between a mentor, a role model, networking, and a person who serves as a reference? How do you find a mentor? How do mentoring relationships work? Leaders in the legal profession will provide their perspectives on mentoring at an SBA sponsored panel.
Moderator: Professor Laura Rothstein
Speakers: Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Lisa Abramson
Bobby Simpson, Corporate Counsel, General Electric; President Louisville Bar Association
Reserved Speed Mentoring program
Requires application to be submitted to Professor Laura Rothstein by Thursday, March 1.
Cox Lounge – 5:30-7:00
Members of the bar will have 6-8 minute conversations with students (like a speed dating program). Students will speak to each mentor.
You're invited to the Annual Black Law Students Association Back to School Cookout!
Saturday August 14, 2010
Thurman Hutchinson Park on River Road
RSVP to Courtney Phelps and indicate the number of guest coming.
The 9th Annual BLSA Convocation will be held on Friday, May 7th from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm in the Allen Courtroom. All BLSA members, friends and family, alumni, and the entire Brandeis Law School community are invited to attend!
Congratulations are in order for the newly elected 2010-2011 BLSA officers!
President: Courtney Phelps
VP of Public Relations: Brandon Edwards
VP of Fundraising & Public Service: Courtney Glasker
Treasurer: Jasmine Fogle
The National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA), founded in 1968, is a national 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 United States with over 6,000 members, NBLSA is also comprised of chapters or affiliates in six different countries including The Bahamas, Nigeria, and South Africa.
The Brandeis BLSA Chapter is a member of the Midwest Region of the National Black Law Students Asssociation (MWBLSA). MWBLSA is comprised of chapters from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Kansas, Kentucky and Wisconsin. In October 2009, the Brandeis BLSA Chapter hosted the Midwest Region's Academic Retreat. BLSA members from across the region attended and participated in programming aimed at increasing academic skills and exploring the legal job market. Chapter President Adrienne Henderson was the 2009-2010 MWBLSA Academic Retreat Coordinator, and is a current member of the MWBLSA Board of Directors. This was the first time U of L hosted a regional BLSA event, and the retreat was made possible by the generous support of the U of L CODRE and the Pike Legal Group, as well as the legal professionals and law school staff and faculty who volunteered their time.
Currently, BLSA is working weekly with students at Shawnee High School on improving their ACT scores and working with undergraduates at U of L to establish a BLSA College Student Division. The BLSA-CSD is a component of NBLSA which informs undergraduate students considering law school about the law school application process, life as a law student, the practice of law, and other relevant knowledge about obtaining a law degree.
More information about NBLSA can be found at www.nblsa.org. All Brandeis Law School students are invited to join BLSA, and our chapter looks forward to continuing to work to improve our school and our community!
I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear. --Rosa Parks
The National Bar Association:
The National Bar Association was established on 1 August 1925 in Des Moines, Iowa. On that day, George H. Woodson and eleven other African-American lawyers, including one woman, met to (as stated in the association’s charter) “advance the science of jurisprudence, uphold the honor of the legal profession, promote social intercourse among the members of the bar, and protect the civil and political rights of all citizens of the several states of the United States.” Today, the National Bar Association represents the interests of minority lawyers and the larger minority community through its programs and resolutions. Given the widespread discrimination against minority groups throughout American history, the National Bar Association devotes much attention to protecting constitutional rights and civil liberties.
Following the Civil War and Reconstruction, America’s lawyers began organizing bar associations for the purpose of increasing professional standards and improving the public’s perception of attorneys. Moreover, business corporations increasingly sought out professionals with the competence to provide legal counsel in an industrializing society. Founded in 1878, the American Bar Association was the country’s primary organization for legal professionals, but in 1912 the association officially began excluding black lawyers when it became known that the group had unwittingly admitted three black members.
Denied membership in mainstream bar associations, black lawyers decided to form an organization dedicated to protecting minority rights and improving race relations within the legal profession: thus they formed the National Bar Association. Many of the association’s objectives were similar to those of the American Bar Association. By restating these goals in their charter, the National Bar Association’s lawyers drew attention to the American Bar Association’s failure, as a group, to promote equality within the legal profession and society.
The National Bar Association has argued that greater diversity on the federal bench is needed to maintain the public’s faith in the judiciary’s impartiality, reasoning that a racially segregated bench cannot fully convince the oppressed that all people are treated equally before the law. Under the leadership of Elmer C. Jackson, in 1960 the association persuaded both Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedy and Republican candidate Richard M. Nixon to pledge to nominate an African-American lawyer to the United States district courts. After winning the 1960 presidential election, Kennedy promptly nominated Joseph Dolan, an African-American attorney, as United States deputy assistant attorney general and James B. Parsons as the first African-American U.S. district judge within the continental United States.
Since the 1960s, the National Bar Association has continued to promote the advancement of civil rights and civil liberties through the courts by filing amicus curiae briefs in cases where the interests of minorities and oppressed people are at stake. These briefs allow the association to articulate the concerns of Americans whose opinions the courts may not otherwise hear. As a national organization, the association has local affiliates in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. Most of these affiliates conduct pro bono legal services and other volunteer work in communities neglected by mainstream lawyers.