The Washington Bar Association Named Voluntary Bar of the Year During D.C. Bar Celebration of Leadership

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(June 6, 2017)




Contact: Natalie S. Walker, President

Washington Bar Association

(202) 659-8510

The Washington Bar Association held its annual meeting at the Historic Courthouse, Ceremonial Courtroom, District of Columbia Court of Appeals, 430 E Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. on Thursday, June 1, 2017.  The following officers were elected for Bar Year 2017-2018:  President - Natalie S. Walker (Partner, Webster & Fredrickson), President-Elect - Nicole Austin-Hillery (Director and Counsel, The Brennen Center For Justice); Vice President - Henry E. Floyd, Jr. (Associate, Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, LLP); Treasurer - Andrew M. Collins (Senior Counsel, The Group); Secretary - Sheldon A. Smith (Attorney, U.S. Department of Homeland Security).  The following persons were elected to the Board of Directors: Vincent Cohen, Jr. (Partner, Dechert, Former Acting U.S. Attorney, D.C.), Carl Turpin (Supervisory Attorney Advisor, District of Columbia Public Schools; Tony Townes (Office of the Attorney General, District of Columbia Government).

In addition to its Annual Meeting, the Washington Bar Association held its Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.  The 2017 inductees into the Hall of Fame are Honorable Anna Blackburne-Rigsby (Chief Judge, District of Columbia Court of Appeals); William C.E. Robinson (Corporate Secretary, GEICO Corporation); Donald A. Thigpen, Jr. (Retired, Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia; General Practice Attorney).

The following individuals continue as Board members:  Honorable Claudia Crichlow (Administrative Law Judge, D.C. Office of Administrative Hearings); Wendell W. Webster (Partner, Webster & Fredrickson); and Alfreda Robinson (Associate Dean, George Washington National Law Center).

The Washington Bar Association was founded in 1925 at a time when Black attorneys were denied admission to white bar associations.  The organization is dedicated to the principle of Equal Justice Under Law and serves as an advocate for African-American lawyers and the African-American community.  It is one of the largest affiliates of the National Bar Association.  Over the years, its members have contributed significantly to the diversification of the local and federal benches as well as to the legal fabric and fiber of the Washington, D.C. community.


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The Washington Bar Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to member professional development and to supporting the African American and underserved communities in the Washington D.C. area.

The objectives and purposes of the Association are: to improve, benefit and protect the well-being of the legal profession and its members; to enhance the professional skills of its members; to encourage professional and citizenship responsibilities among the Membership; to encourage spiritual and moral values; to advance the science of jurisprudence and the administration of justice; to improve the standards of legal education; and, to encourage legal research and excellence consistent with the philosophy of Houstonian Jurisprudence.