2Ls Marvin Rashad Pendarvis and Courtney Littlejohn have been appointed to the National Black Law Students Associations Executive Board for the 2013-2014 school year as the Frederick Douglass Moot Court Director and Specialist, respectively.
Our membership is composed of roughly 50 law students. Our organization is part of the National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA) and we are in the Southern Region (SRBLSA) which seeks to promote the advancement of black law students and empowerment of the black community.
The Matthew J. Perry Chapter of BLSA is committed to the community. This year we plan to continue our commitment to the city of Columbia. We have painted faces in our school's Halloween Carnival for local children, volunteered at Harvest Hope Food Bank, hosted Benedict College and USC undergraduate students who are interested in pursing law, helped raise money for Richland County's program that advocates for children, served Thanksgiving Dinner at a transitional community called St. Lawrence Place, to name a few activities.
As a result of our commitment to service and competitive performance, our chapter of BLSA won Chapter of the Year at our Regional Convention in Birmingham, AL in February 2012. We went on to the National Convention in Washington, DC to compete for National Chapter of the Year and made a strong showing. We have a Moot Court and a Mock Trial team that travels and competes at regional and national conventions.
For the 2012-2013 academic year, our national theme is "Enhancing the Dream" and our regional theme is "Young, Bold and Empowered (YBE)".
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.
Black Law Student Association
University of South Carolina School of Law
Main and Green Streets
Columbia, South Carolina 29208
“Advancing to the Next Level,
Fulfilling the Dream,
Advocating for the Future.”