On behalf of the 2020 -2021 Advisory and Executive Boards, welcome to the Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia, Inc. website.
Founded in 1950, for the last 70 years, the Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia, Inc., or affectionately just “Barristers,” has dedicated its existence to advocating for the advancement of Black attorneys throughout the greater Philadelphia region and protecting the interests of our community stakeholders.
For the last six (6) years, I have been involved in the Barristers. Beginning as a volunteer at our annual Turkey Drive, then joining the 2016-2017 Executive Board, and now proudly serving as the 2020-2021 President.
Throughout my tenure, I have always been amazed by the continuous service the Barristers has provided to our most vulnerable communities. Whether it was providing wills and health/ financial directives preparation to low-income elderly Philadelphia citizens at our annual Life Planning Clinic, providing financial assistance to deserving law students through our annual Scholarship Awards Gala, or handing out over six-hundred (600) turkey dinners to financially challenged families at Thanksgiving, the Barristers commitment to our external communities is as paramount as our desire to advocate and shatter glass ceilings for our attorney members.
2020. The strains of a world pandemic are not lost on your 2020-2021 Advisory and Executive Boards. As a result, we have decided to move everything virtual this year to protect the safety and welfare of all of us. As your President, I have committed a great deal of time to developing expanded services for you, the members, to receive during these unprecedented times. To hear all about my plan for the year and the exciting additions to your membership, please view the video below.
Forever in your service,
Dominique B. E. Ward
President 2020- 2021
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.