Algermon Johnson ("Aj") Cooper founded the first Black American Law Students Associations at New York University School of Law in 1968. In 1983, BALSA revised its name, and the word "American" was deleted to encompass all Blacks, including those not of American nationality. Later, the word "National" was added to reflect the organizations' expansion, which now includes representation in the law schools of 49 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
NBLSA is a global catalyst for the respect, acceptance, and engagement of Black law students in law schools, communities, and throughout the legal profession.
The mission of NBLSA is to increase the number of culturally-responsible Black and minority attorneys who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community.