National Bar Association

Last updated
National Bar Association
National Bar Association logo.png
TypeLegal society
Headquarters Washington, DC
  • United States
65,000 in 2016 [1]

The National Bar Association (NBA) was founded in 1925 and is the nation's oldest and largest national network of predominantly African-American attorneys and judges. It represents the interests of approximately 65,000 lawyers, judges, law professors, and law students. The NBA is organized around 23 substantive law sections, 9 divisions, 12 regions, and 80 affiliate chapters throughout the United States and around the world. The current and 75th president is Juan R. Thomas of Aurora, Illinois.


Structure and activities

The National Bar Association (NBA) is governed by a Board of Governors, mostly elected from the membership but also including NBA's officers and representatives of groups such as the NBA's Divisions. [2]

The National Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, chaired by Khyla Craine, represents the new members of the legal profession, and membership is open to NBA members who have been admitted to practice for less than 10 years or are under 40 years old. The association has several affiliate chapters located throughout the United States, including The Cook County Bar Association, The Barristers' Association of Philadelphia, the California Association of Black Lawyers, the Washington Bar Association, the Virgil Hawkins Florida Chapter National Bar Association, the Garden State Bar Association and the Metropolitan Black Bar Association.

The National Bar Institute (NBI) is the philanthropic arm of the NBA, founded in 1982. The association has established an annual award in honor of the late Louisiana State Representative Pinkie C. Wilkerson of Grambling—the "Pinkie C. Wilkerson Outstanding State Legislator of the Year Award". [3] The NBA offers a job listing service as well as advertising in its magazine to assist employers seeking to conduct affirmative action outreach toward minority job applicants. [4]


The National Bar Association was established in 1925 as the "Negro Bar Association" after Gertrude Rush, George H. Woodson, S. Joe Brown, James B. Morris, and Charles P. Howard, Sr., were denied membership in the American Bar Association. The young Charles Hamilton Houston, future dean of Howard University Law School, also helped with the founding. [5]

Its first president was George H. Woodson of Des Moines, Iowa. Arnette Hubbard became the NBA's first female president in 1981. [6] [7]

In 1940, the NBA attempted to establish "free legal clinics in all cities with a colored population of 5,000 or more." [1] Its members supported litigation that achieved a US Supreme Court ruling that defendants had to be provided with legal counsel.

In 2010, the NBA partnered with the U.S. Census Bureau to work toward a complete and accurate count of the nation's population through various outreach activities. [8]





District of Columbia














New Jersey

New Mexico


New York







See also

Related Research Articles

Barrister Lawyer specialized in court representation in Wales, England and some other jurisdictions

A barrister is a type of lawyer in common law jurisdictions. Barristers mostly specialise in courtroom advocacy and litigation. Their tasks include taking cases in superior courts and tribunals, drafting legal pleadings, researching the philosophy, hypothesis and history of law, and giving expert legal opinions.

A solicitor is a legal practitioner who traditionally deals with most of the legal matters in some jurisdictions. A person must have legally-defined qualifications, which vary from one jurisdiction to another, to be described as a solicitor and enabled to practise there as such. For example, in England and Wales a solicitor is admitted to practise under the provisions of the Solicitors Act 1974. With some exceptions, practising solicitors must possess a practising certificate. There are many more solicitors than barristers in England; they undertake the general aspects of giving legal advice and conducting legal proceedings.

Queens Counsel Lawyer appointed by letters patent in some Commonwealth realms

In the United Kingdom and in some Commonwealth countries, a Queen's Counsel during the reign of a queen, or King's Counsel during the reign of a king, is a lawyer who is appointed by the monarch of the country to be one of ’Her [His] Majesty's Counsel learned in the law’. The position originated in England. Some Commonwealth countries have either abolished the position, or re-named it so as to remove monarchical connotations, for example, ’Senior Counsel’ or ’Senior Advocate’.

A bar association is a professional association of lawyers as generally organized in countries following the Anglo-American types of jurisprudence. The word bar is derived from the old English/European custom of using a physical railing to separate the area in which court business is done from the viewing area for the general public.

The call to the bar is a legal term of art in most common law jurisdictions where persons must be qualified to be allowed to argue in court on behalf of another party and are then said to have been "called to the bar" or to have received a "call to the bar." "The bar" is now used as a collective noun for barristers, but literally referred to the wooden barrier in old courtrooms, which separated the often crowded public area at the rear from the space near the judges reserved for those having business with the Court. Barristers would sit or stand immediately behind it, facing the judge, and could use it as a table for their briefs.

Charles Hamilton Houston African-American lawyer

Charles Hamilton Houston was a prominent African-American lawyer, Dean of Howard University Law School, and NAACP first special counsel, or Litigation Director. A graduate of Amherst College and Harvard Law School, Houston played a significant role in dismantling Jim Crow laws, especially attacking segregation in schools and racial housing covenants. He earned the title "The Man Who Killed Jim Crow".

A bar examination is an examination administered by the bar association of a jurisdiction that a lawyer must pass in order to be admitted to the bar of that jurisdiction.

National Lawyers Guild American association of lawyers

The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) is a progressive public interest association of lawyers, law students, paralegals, jailhouse lawyers, law collective members, and other activist legal workers, in the United States. The group was founded in 1937 as an alternative to the American Bar Association (ABA) in protest of that organization's exclusionary membership practices and conservative political orientation. They were the first US bar association to allow the admission of minorities to their ranks. The group sought to bring more lawyers closer to the labor movement and progressive political activities, to support and encourage lawyers otherwise "isolated and discouraged," and to help create a "united front" against Fascism.

Helena Normanton

Helena Florence Normanton, KC was the first woman to practise as a barrister in England. In November 1922, she was the second woman to be called to the Bar of England and Wales, following the example set by Ivy Williams in May 1922. When she married she kept her surname and in 1924 she was the first British married woman to have a passport in the name she was born with.

Z. Alexander Looby

Zephaniah Alexander Looby was a lawyer in Nashville, Tennessee who was active in the Civil Rights Movement. Born in the British West Indies, he immigrated to the United States at the age of 15, and earned degrees at Howard University, Columbia University Law School, and New York University.

An admission to practice law is acquired when a lawyer receives a license to practice law. In jurisdictions with two types of lawyer, as with barristers and solicitors, barristers must gain admission to the bar whereas for solicitors there are distinct practising certificates.

Howard University School of Law is one of the professional graduate schools of Howard University. Located in Washington, D.C., it is one of the oldest law schools in the country and the oldest historically black college or university law school in the United States.

John Leonard Burris is an American civil rights attorney, based in Oakland, California, known for his work in police brutality cases representing plaintiffs. The John Burris law firm practices employment, criminal defense, DUI, personal injury, and landlord tenant law.

Dovey Johnson Roundtree

Dovey Johnson Roundtree was an African-American civil rights activist, ordained minister, and attorney. Her 1955 victory before the Interstate Commerce Commission in the first bus desegregation case to be brought before the ICC resulted in the only explicit repudiation of the "separate but equal" doctrine in the field of interstate bus transportation by a court or federal administrative body. That case, Sarah Keys v. Carolina Coach Company, which Dovey Roundtree brought before the ICC with her law partner and mentor Julius Winfield Robertson, was invoked by Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy during the 1961 Freedom Riders' campaign in his successful battle to compel the Interstate Commerce Commission to enforce its rulings and end Jim Crow laws in public transportation.

JoAnne A. Epps is an American law professor, legal author, and Executive Vice President and Provost of Temple University. Epps' primary areas of expertise include criminal procedure, evidence and trial advocacy. She teaches Litigation Basics, a required course for first-year law students at Temple. Named by National Jurist as one of the 25 most influential leaders in legal education, her commitment to curricular innovation and experiential legal education inspired the creation of the Stephen and Sandra Sheller Center for Social Justice at Temple Law School, which introduces students to the many roles that lawyers can play in securing access to civil justice. She has trained Sudanese lawyers representing victims of the Darfur crisis, and taught prosecutors for the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

The Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia is a voluntary bar association in metropolitan Washington, D.C. The WBA has more than 800 members and was founded in 1917.


  1. 1 2 Our History, National Bar Association, retrieved 2012-08-24
  2. Governance, National Bar Association, retrieved 2012-08-24
  3. ""State Rep. Wilkerson Killed in Auto Accident', August 1, 2000". Retrieved September 26, 2009.
  4. "National Bar Association Careers" . Retrieved 2010-09-06.
  5. NAACP History: "Charles Hamilton Houston" Archived 2018-01-09 at the Wayback Machine , NAACP; accessed 14 May 2017
  6. "First woman president of National Bar Association installed | African American Registry". 1981-07-31. Archived from the original on 2015-08-02. Retrieved 2015-05-12.
  7. Fred D. Gray (2002). Bus Ride to Justice: Changing the System by the System : the Life and Works of Fred D. Gray, Preacher, Attorney, Politician. NewSouth Books. pp. 308–. ISBN   978-1-58838-113-2.
  8. "The National Bar Association (NBA) is Partnering with the U.S. Census Bureau to Support the 2010 Census" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-09-06.
  9. "Alabama Lawyers Association".
  10. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-12-18. Retrieved 2017-02-23.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. "Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles". Retrieved 2018-08-01.
  12. "California Association of Black Lawyers". Retrieved 2018-08-01.
  16. "Washington Bar Association, Non-Profit Organization".
  19. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-03-07. Retrieved 2017-02-23.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  20. "The Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys".
  21. "The Gate City Bar Association – Atlanta, Georgia".
  23. "MCBA Home".
  24. "Home". Louisville Black Lawyers.
  25. Themes, UFO. "Louis A Martinet Legal Society, Inc".
  26. "Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association -". Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association.
  28. "J. Franklyn Bourne Bar Association – Home". J. Franklyn Bourne Bar Association – Home.
  29. "Wolverine Bar Association – Over 80 Years of Leadership in the Legal Community".
  31. "MABL – Home".
  32. "The Jackson County Bar Association".
  33. "Mound City Bar Association / Home / 2018 Scholarship Dinner".
  36. "New Mexico Black Lawyers Association".
  38. "Metropolitan Black Bar Association | "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr". 2018-01-08. Retrieved 2018-08-01.
  40. "Amistad Long Island Black Bar Association".
  41. "BLAC – Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati".
  42. "Norman S. Minor Bar Association – Home Page".
  43. "JMLBA".
  45. "Napier Looby Bar Association".
  46. "J.L. Turner Legal Association – Dallas, Texas". J.L. Turner.
  47. "African American Lawyers Section". African American Lawyers Section.
  48. "Houston Bar Association". Houston Bar Association.
  49. "Home".