Perspective: Harvard’s Affirmative Action Case

Harvard’s Affirmative Action Case Creates Buzz on Campus

Fall 2018 | Julian Nunally


As you may have heard, Harvard just recently concluded oral arguments in an affirmative action case brought by an activist organization that is filing suits across the nation attempting to make use of race as a factor in admissions illegal under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. For those who want to follow the case, it is called Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) v. President & Fellows of Harvard College (D. Mass). Continue Reading →

Update: Black Enrollment at HLS

HLS and the Efforts to Increase Black Student Numbers on Campus

Fall 2018 | By Jordan Kennedy

HBLSA students on the annual Martha’s Vineyard trip

Over the last admissions cycle, law schools across the country have seen a glut in applicants and an even more significant increase in the total number of applications. According to an article by the Harvard Crimson earlier this year, verified by the Law School, Harvard Law School received 7,578 applications this past year alone, a 32 percent increase over the prior year. Black applicants in particular have skyrocketed as well, six percent higher relative to the previous year. It may not seem like much, however black enrollment in law schools across the country has been declining year after year since the late 2000’s. This year seemed to reverse the trend. Continue Reading →

Faculty Spotlight: Professor Nikolas Bowie

Getting to Know Black Faculty at HLS

Fall 2018 | Andrew Gonzales

Professor Nikolas Bowie (JD ’14) is an assistant professor of law at Harvard Law School. This fall, Professor Bowie is teaching a course on Local Government Law. In the spring, he will teach courses on Federal Constitutional Law and State law.

His current scholarship examines the origins of federal and state constitutions in order to protect cities from being subordinated by larger governments. He also engages in scholarship considering why the federal and state constitutions were written down in the first place. Continue Reading →

Harvard Benefits from Visiting Professors of Color

HBLSA interviewed 2018-2019 Visiting Professors Raymond Atuguba and Guy-Uriel Charles

Profile: Professor Raymond Atuguba (LLM ’00, SJD ’04)

Fall 2018 | By Jessica Sawadogo

Professor Raymond Akongburo Atuguba joins Harvard Law School as the Henry J. Steiner Visiting Professor in Human Rights for the 2018–2019 school year. He received both his Master of Laws (LL.M) and Doctor of Juridical Sciences (SJD) Degrees from Harvard Law School in 2000 and 2004. He is currently an Associate Professor at the School of Law, University of Ghana, where he has taught since 2002. Continue Reading →

Harvard Law Review President Excels in Role

Profile: Michael Thomas, President of Harvard Law Review

Fall 2018 | By Ope Adebanjo ’20

As Harvard Law Review President, BLSA member Michael Thomas finds inspiration for the hard work of the role from a myriad of places. As his tenure as President comes to a close, he reflects that he has found the work of HLR deeply satisfying and fun, as he continues to learn new things each day on the job. He also acknowledges that he is grateful to have a strong support system in many areas of his life, from the hardworking HLR editors—to which he feels a sense of responsibility to curate great content and cultivate a supportive community—to the BLSA community—which he considers a family that he can lean on when things get tough. Thomas was grateful to have found a mentor in former HLR President and BLSA member ImeIme Umana. Her work and advice has been vital in making the transition smooth for Thomas this year. But Thomas acknowledges that there are just some things you can’t prepare for until you are in the role, so he often draws from a set of life experiences to direct his actions, including his experiences as an HLR editor last year and his work before law school in the New York City Mayor’s Office. Continue Reading →

HBLSA Statement on Race-Conscious Admissions Policies

Harvard Black Law Student Association’s Statement on Race-Conscious Admissions Policies

November 4, 2018

With the Harvard College/Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) trial’s conclusion drawing near, we stand at a critical crossroad—both as the Harvard Black Law Students Association, but also as Black people in the United States.

At the heart of this suit is a new manifestation of Fisher v. Texas, another vile anti-affirmative action lawsuit led by none other than Edward Blum—the conservative political activist who has consistently argued that race-conscious admissions are discriminatory. Blum lost Fisher at the Supreme Court. His objective, nonetheless, remains to kill affirmative action and to eliminate racial protections in all areas of life, such as when he supported Shelby County v. Holder—a 2013 case that functionally gutted the 1965 Voting Rights Act.[1]

The Harvard Black Law Students Association stands by Harvard College’s holistic approach to admissions, especially the consideration of race. The Supreme Court articulated in Fisher that diversity in the student body “[enhances] classroom dialogue” and lessens the chance of “racial isolation and stereotypes.[2]” Considering race in admissions ensures the possibility of a more tolerant student body—a student body that coalesces, instead of one that struggles to grapple with the different cultures, financial backgrounds, and upbringings within our society. Continue Reading →

HBLSA Prison Strike Statement

Harvard Black Law Student’s Association Statement on the 2018 National Prison Strike

September 25, 2018

Harvard Law School’s Black Law Students Association (BLSA) commits to supporting the efforts of the 2018 National Prison Strike, which started on August 21, 2018 and concluded on September 9, 2018. Our brothers, sisters, and community members in federal, immigration, and state prisons demand the following:

Continue Reading →

Harvard BLSA Kavanaugh Statement

Harvard BLSA Statement on the Supreme Court Confirmation Hearing of Judge Brett Kavanaugh

September 6, 2018

To Whom It May Concern,

The Harvard Black Law Students Association (BLSA) has not taken any position with respect to the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Kavanaugh.

Harvard BLSA was recently mentioned during Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing. During questioning, Judge Brett Kavanaugh openly discussed how he supported BLSA, referencing an event during which he “encouraged” and “mentored” BLSA members to apply for clerkships–there is a signed letter by both current and former BLSA members as a testament to this exchange.

Continue Reading →

Celebrating Black Alumni, and Engaging With Activism, at Law School Reunion | News | The Harvard Crimson

When Bishop C. Holifield was a student at Harvard Law School in 1967 at the apex of the civil rights movement, the fledgling organization he had founded—the Harvard Black Law Students Association—had just two members: himself and co-founder Reginald E. Gilliam.

Source: Celebrating Black Alumni, and Engaging With Activism, at Law School Reunion | News | The Harvard Crimson