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The Barristers

About Us

Greetings from the President

Adara L. Combs
Adara L. Combs
President

It is with great joy and excitement that I welcome you on behalf of the 2021-2022 Advisory and Executive Boards of the Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia, Inc. to our website!

For the last 71 years the Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia, Inc., has poured into the legal community and rested itself on the pillars of advocacy, advancement, and service to Black attorneys in the Philadelphia region. Over the course of the next year we will not only pour into ourselves but also pour into our community—our legacy.  The theme of this Barristers’ year is:  Meaningful Engagement and True Service

We hope that you join us over the next year as we continue to honor traditions such as the Turkey Drive, The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Breakfast, The Life Planning Clinic, and our Annual Awards and Scholarship Gala, while seeking new opportunities to expand our horizons and strengthen our reach. I hope that you stand with us as we address the inevitable issues that will arise over the year, and that when called upon you say yes to being of service within Barristers and beyond.

If you have not yet done so, please join us as a dues paid member! There are definitely perks to paid membership and you will not want to miss out! Check our membership page for information on our free student membership and discounted public service rate!

Lastly, you can also stay informed on our activities by following us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.   

Yours in service, 

Adara L. Combs
President 2021- 2022

Today, we continue to play a unique role for our members by providing a forum for discussion and dissemination of information of matters of particular interest to Black attorneys…

Our History

Established in 1950, The Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia, Inc.’s purpose, then and now, has been to address the professional needs and development of Black lawyers in the City of Philadelphia through programs such as seminars, cultural events and publications. The work of the organization continues years later with ongoing efforts to support its mission.

Since the early years of its establishment, the Barristers’ Association has also recognized the need, and its obligation, to be a pro-active advocate for the cause against injustice. In 1973, members of the Barristers’ Association served on the Liacouras Commission, which investigated ways to eliminate racial discrimination in bar admission procedures.

Our History

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In 1978, the Barristers’ Association joined other concerned groups in filing an action against the Philadelphia Registration Commission which resulted in the addition of 50,000 Philadelphians to the voter registration pools. In 1983, the Barristers’ Association provided testimony before the Pennsylvania State Legislature on the issue of the merit selection of judges.

In more recent years, the Barristers’ Association has sponsored or participated in activities that promoted youth awareness and career opportunities in the legal profession, and increased citizens’ awareness of their rights under the law.

Scholarships to minority law students at local law schools are awarded annually to further encourage and support Black students in their pursuit of a degree in law. Continuing Legal Education seminars and political education forums have been offered to members of the Barristers’ Association to facilitate professional development and political awareness.

Our Mission

Today, The Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia, Inc. continues to provide a very important and unique role for its members by providing a forum for discussion and dissemination of information of matters of particular interest to Black attorneys and the Philadelphia Black community at large.

Our membership now encompasses a network of approximately 1,000 lawyers and jurists who serve society at the highest positions in both the private and public sectors of the legal profession.

As an affiliate of the National Bar Association, the Barristers’ Association is an active participant in a community of practicing Black lawyers, judges and law students in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The Barristers’ Association’s structure consists of an Executive Committee and an Advisory Board. The Executive Committee is responsible for the operation of the organization and is composed of elected officers and appointed members. The Advisory Board, which is made up of distinguished members of the legal profession, provides advice and counsel to the Executive Committee.

Membership

With benefits like continuing education, outreach, networking and more… Become a Barrister today!

Community

Join us in helping to make a difference in your community by participating in one of our many outreach programs.

Scholarship

Since 1976, we have honored of the pursuit of excellence, awarding local law students with annual scholarships.

Development

We provide opportunities for continuing education as well as networking, including our ‘Meet the Judges’ reception.