In 1968, Algernon Johnson “A.J.” Cooper, the former mayor of Pritchard, Alabama, founded the Black American Law Students Association (BALSA) at New York University School of Law. Since its founding, BALSA has flourished into the largest student-run organization in the United States, while providing, in the words of A.J. Cooper, “a bridge over troubled waters and a safe harbor where we could go with other Black law students to bear our souls.” With over 100 members, NYU BALSA continues to touch and enhance the lives of not only its members, but the students of New York University and the community at large.
The New York University Black Allied Law Students Association exists for the support, guidance, and development of our members in their academic, social, and professional pursuits. We strive to create a close-knit community that will provide our members with the relationships that will comprise the foundation of their legal network, while offering opportunities to develop the skills needed to advance the greater good.