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Our History

In 1968, Algernon Johnson (“AJ”) Cooper, former mayor of Prichard, Alabama, founded the first Black American Law Students Association (“BALSA”) at the New York University Law School. In 1983, BALSA revised its name, and the word “American” was deleted to encompass all Black people, including those not of American nationality. Later, the word “National” was added to reflect the organization’s national expansion, which now includes chapters in almost every law school across the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Canada, and Nigeria.

Photo Credit: Jet Magazine & Past National Chair Robert Pickett (pictured at left).

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