Our 2018-2019 year is underway! At our 68th Annual Installation Ceremony we outlined three areas of focus for the year: proximity, legacy and continuity.
As Barristers, it is our responsibility to use our skills and training to educate our community and assist those who cannot afford to pay for our services. As we all know, it is usually those who cannot afford our services who need us the most. Among our community events scheduled are the Annual Turkey Drive and Annual Wills Clinic. We are hosting two “Know Your Rights” forums on the subjects of voting rights and police interactions.
In recognition of the promise and importance of future generations, we aim to be a tangible resource to students interested in the legal profession. We will continue to be visible and accessible to students. The Barristers will again host our Annual Education Forum, where members of the judiciary, lawyers, and law students will share stories of their respective paths to the law with middle and high school students. Further, we remain in direct communication with regional law schools to support students as they navigate the challenges of law school. Through our Bar Buddies Program, we will continue to support these students upon graduation by guiding them through bar exam preparation.
Because we acknowledge the sacrifice of our predecessors and peers, this year, we will begin collecting and preserving the stories of Barristers through the Legacy Project. We will celebrate those Barristers who have come before us and paved the way for future Barristers by documenting the stories of legal titans in our community in their own words.
We will also continue to offer our signature programming and provide professional development opportunities to our membership through our CLEs and monthly General Body Meetings. Our 2018-2019 Barristers’ Leadership Institute features, among others, Maria Lewis, Danielle Banks, Provost JoAnne Epps, and President Judge Sheila Woods-Skipper.
The Advisory and Executive Boards have made a commitment to you, our membership. We have pledged to provide you with the quality programming that you have come to expect and to show up for you and our community. As always though, we need you to make each Barristers’ event happen. Your active participation and financial commitment are essential to the Barristers’ success in the aforementioned endeavors. To that end, we ask you to show up as well. If you are available to volunteer – do it! If you have the means to help us feed a family for thanksgiving or give a law student a scholarship – contribute! Also, to enable us to continue to serve, remember to pay your dues on the website or by check.
We’ve made it easy for you to stay informed about our current and upcoming events on our newly redesigned website, www.phillybarristers.com! In addition to enhancing the user experience, we have added value to our members by enabling them to create a public profile on the site. You can also stay abreast of our activities by following us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
A new year is a new opportunity to become involved in the Barristers’ Association and a new opportunity to give back to those who truly need it: our community, our future members, and each other.
On behalf of the Executive Board, we look forward to an exciting year and hope that you will join us!
Yours in Service,
Tianna K. Kalogerakis
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…
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.
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.
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.