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Black Law Student Association

A chapter of the National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA), BLSA was created and designed to articulate and promote the professional needs and goals of Black law students.



Norm Rice, Henry McGee, Robert Mitchell, and Bob Boruchwitz
From left, former Seattle Mayor Norm Rice, Professor Henry McGee, Governor's Counsel Richard Mitchell and Visiting Professor Bob Boruchowitz

First annual BLSA alumni reception celebrates the past and looks toward the future

Thirty years ago, there were only a handful of African American law students and Washington bar members. To mark the progress made since then and to recognize the trailblazers, the law school celebrated Black History Month and honored African American members of the legal profession at an alumni/student reception in February.

John Terry '77 and Harold Booker '77 John Terry '77 and Harold Booker '77

The Black Law Student Association honored John Terry ’77 and Harold Booker ’77 for their practice over the last 30 years. Students and alumni thanked them for paving the way for today’s students.

Harold is a retired Boeing engineer who has been actively involved in Volunteer Attrneys For People With AIDS of the King County Bar Association, providing legal assistance to low-income individuals who are HIV positive, as well as providing volunteer legal services to low-income individuals in the Family Law Area and low income senior citizens. He has had considerable experience working on contested custody cases and has often negotiated a successful solution outside of court by working with both parents and children. He received an award for his pro bono work from the KCBA in 2005.

John Terry '77 and Harold Booker '77 BLSA President Nyjat Rose presents award to John Terry '77

John is in private practice, specializing in school, labor and employment law. He has been a staff attorney and labor relations specialist for the Washington State School Directors Association, successfully handling more than 120 grievances and public sector arbitrations. For 20 years, he has served as counsel to school superintendents throughout the state. He serves as an arbitrator for King County Superior Court and was the first African American to sit as a pro tem judge in Federal Way, Wash.

John and Harold never forgot the confidence the law school had in them or the opportunity it offered when they were accepted in 1974. Through tears of humility and gratitude, each thanked the law school. Their words of wisdom and humility inspired students, faculty and members of the bar, as they spoke of their commitment to law, to social justice, and to their communities, made possible because of their professional positions. They accepted their Alumni Appreciation Award presented by current BLSA members Nyjat Rose and Jerry Taylor, both 2Ls.

BLSA also recognized Professor Henry McGee, the first tenured black faculty member at the Seattle University School of Law, presenting him with the first Black Law Student Legal Legacy Award for his “dedication, encouragement and support of students of color in the legal profession.”  McGee shared the story of his early years in the legal profession; the battles and the victories.

McGee’s career highlights include serving as a county prosecutor in Chicago, a litigator in a Chicago law firm, a civil rights attorney in Mississippi and regional director of the U.S. Offce of Economic Opportunity Legal Services Program. He is a professor emeritus from UCLA School of Law, where he served as director of the UCLA Center for Afro-American Studies, and as director of the UCLA School of Law LL.M. program. A faculty member at the law school since 1994, he has won two Fulbright Awards and now directs the Latin America-U.S. Program for Academic and Judicial Exchanges at Seattle University School of Law.


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