Black Law Students Association (BLSA)
The University of Cincinnati Chapter of BLSA is an active participant in the National Black Law Students Association. BLSA was created in 1969 with the goal of opening law school doors and enhancing the quality of legal education for African-American students throughout the United States. BLSA has been instrumental in providing African-Americans with expanded access to the field of law during the 70's, 80's, and 90's. In the 21st Century, BLSA is poised to continue advocating for major increases in the number of African-American faculty hired and African-American students admitted to law schools throughout the United States. Although many doors have opened, many more remain closed; consequently BLSA's job is hardly over. African-Americans are still disproportionately under represented in the legal arena. To prevent erosion of the advances made by BLSA, the organization is determined to push onward with continued vigor. BLSA has established a strong working relationship with the National Bar Association, Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati and many other national and local organizations. BLSA does not seek to isolate itself from the law school community, rather it advocates cooperation and involvement of its members with other students, student organizations, faculty and staff. In fact, members of BLSA are active in Law Review, Moot Court, Student Bar Association, Student Court, the Urban Morgan Human Rights Institute, Student Legal Education Committee, and the Honor Council, must to name a few. Each year, in conjunction with the Moot Court program, BLSA sends teams to the Frederick Douglass Moot Court competition sponsored by the National Black Law Students Association. During the academic school year BLSA presents speakers from the legal community whose expertise can offer stimulating insight into the field of law and enhance the quality of legal education at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. Indeed, BLSA is ready for the challenges of the 21st Century and beyond.
Preamble: (from Our Constitution)
We, the members of the Black Law Students Association at the University of Cincinnati, in order to promote the development of committed Black law students and lawyers, to inform Black law students and to encourage participation of Black law students in the affairs of the Black community, to increase the representation of Black law students, faculty members and administrators at the University of Cincinnati College of Law, and to promote unity and awareness, do hereby establish this Constitution for the University of Cincinnati Chapter of the Black Law Students Association. The purpose of BLSA shall be to represent the views of Black students at the University of Cincinnati College of Law; to provide a forum for the discussion of local and national issues affecting both the Black law student community and the University community as a whole; to promote the welfare of its members through educational, professional, cultural and social programs; to focus upon the relationship between the Black law student and the law structure; to instill in the Black attorney and law student a greater awareness of and commitment to the needs of the Black community; to influence American law schools, legal fraternities and associations to use their expertise and prestige to bring about change within the legal system in order to make it responsive to the needs of the Black community; and to do any and all things necessary and lawful for the accomplishment of these purposes.
- President: Rebecca Knight
- Vice President: Akua Adu-Gyamfi
- Secretary: Melanie Navamanikkam
- Treasurer: Vincent Boddu
- Membership & Outreach: Leanthony Edwards