Black Law Students Association reaches out to support diversity in legal field

Penn Law’s BLSA helps to remove barriers and hopes to inspire a diverse cohort of future lawyers.

Since 2007, the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School’s Black Law Students Association (BLSA) has reached hundreds of undergraduate students in the greater Philadelphia area through the Outreach Program, Applying to and Succeeding in Law School. The overarching goal of the program is to help remove systemic barriers that perpetuate inequity and maintain homogeneity in the legal field—a sector that is already riddled with exclusivity—and inspire a diverse cohort of future lawyers. During a series of weekend sessions, the program provides insight about the law school admissions process and mentorship for students from ethnically diverse, first-generation, and/or disadvantaged backgrounds. It concludes with the participants completion of a “JD Action Plan.”

Group of BLSA students standing by a railing on an outdoor porch in the sunshine.
Pre-pandemic image courtesy of Penn BLSA.

“No one should feel intimidated by the process of applying to law school just because they are confused by the process or they don’t have any contacts in the legal field to ask questions. The legal field can only be improved by an increase in diversity of culture, background, and experience. It’s our job to enhance the pipeline to law school so that we can achieve that end result,” says Carla Anderson, director of Access Initiatives.

Penn Law BLSA provides indispensable support to current and prospective students who identify as African American, Caribbean, or African, and fosters a strong community that celebrates their collective achievements. Through the Outreach Program, members of BLSA share tools and insight that further elevate Black individuals, as well as students who come from historically underrepresented communities, who show interest in the legal sector and ensure that information is widely available to them.

Read more at Penn Law News.