The Mitchell Hamline Black Law Students Association is now able to offer wider academic, social, and career support to its members through a newly formalized affiliation with the group’s national organization.
The mission of the National Black Law Students Association, which started in 1968 at New York University Law School, is to help African-American students excel in law school and in their careers. The group now boasts 200 chapters across the country.
Joshua Franklin, president of the Mitchell Hamline chapter of the NBLSA, says the affiliation with the national group not only signifies the school’s commitment to diversity but also gives students access to regional and national conferences, career fairs, academic retreats, and networking opportunities with black attorneys across the country.
“To have that broader network and diverse range of people to connect with, talk to, and tap into their resources brings together the entire law school experience,” Franklin said.
The benefits of the affiliation extend to students in Mitchell Hamline’s blended-learning programs as well. Franklin is working with students in those programs to link them up with local NBLSA chapters in their home communities.
Currently, Mitchell Hamline is the only Minnesota law school with a NBLSA chapter, but Franklin is working with student leaders at both the University of Minnesota Law School and the School of Law at the University of St. Thomas to help them join the national organization.