The Black Law Students Associaton (BLSA) at the University of South Dakota is a chapter of the National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA).
According to the NBLSA webpage, the mission of the organization is to "utilize the collective resources of the member chapters to:
- articulate and promote the educational, professional, political, and social needs and goals of Black law students;
- foster and encourage professional competence;
- improve the relationship between Black law students, Black attorneys, and the American legal structure;
- instill in the Black attorney and law student a greater awareness and commitment to the needs of the Black community;
- influence the legal community by bringing about meaningful legal and political change that addresses the needs and concerns of the Black community;
- adopt and implement policies of economic independence;
- and encourage Black law students to pursue careers in the judiciary."
About the Thurgood Marshall Lecture at USD Law School
Past speakers include the following:
Feb. 5, 2002 – Patrick Jennings, Esquire, USD Law Class of 1999, Sioux City, IA
Feb. 21, 2003 – Kefla Hare, motivational speaker and educator, Dallas, TX
Feb. 13, 2004 – Professor Vernellia R. Randall, University of Dayton School of Law
Feb. 16, 2005 – Hon. LaJune Lange, Fourth Judicial District Court, Hennepin County, Minneapolis, MN
Feb. 15, 2006 – Fred Gray, Esquire, civil rights attorney who successfully represented Mrs. Rosa Parks
Feb. 21, 2007 – Hon. Leslie G. Leach, Eleventh Judicial District, Supreme Court, Queens County, NY
Feb. 14, 2008 – Courtney Clayborne, Esquire, Clayborne, Loos & Sabers, USD Law ‘89, Rapid City, SD
Feb. 19, 2009 – Peter C. Alexander, Dean & Professor, Southern Illinois University School of Law
Feb. 18, 2010 – Andre P. Oliver, Vice President, NAACP, Unit 4102, Sioux Falls, SD
Feb. 3, 2011 – Tracey Fischer, Esquire, partner, Fredericks, Peebles & Morgan, Rapid City, SD
Mar. 14, 2012 – Professor Reginald L. Robinson, Washburn University School, Topeka, KS
2013 - The lecture was not held due to inclement weather.
Apr. 11, 2014 - Hon. Romonda D. Belcher, District Associate Judge, Fifth District Court, Des Moines, IA