Brooklyn Boro

Metropolitan Black Bar Association honors Judge Fern Fisher and Letitia James

May 23, 2018 By Rob Abruzzese, Legal Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Public Advocate Letitia James, who is currently running to be the next attorney general for New York State, was honored by the MBBA last week with the Public Servant of the Year Award. Photo by Rowena Husbands/Blink of An Eye Photography Online

The Metropolitan Black Bar Association held its 34th annual awards gala at Pier Sixty in Manhattan on Friday where five members of the local legal community including Justice Fern A. Fisher and Public Advocate Letitia James.

This year’s theme was “Impacting Our Profession, Impacting Our Community” and attorneys Midwin Charles and Joey Jackson served as hosts.

Justice Fisher, who now serves as special assistant for social justice initiative to the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University, was given the Jurist of the Year Award. James received the Public Servant of the Year Award.

The other honorees included Anne Robinson, managing director, general counsel and corporate secretary at Vanguard, who received the Trailblazer of the Year Award; Deirdre Stanley, executive vice president and general counsel for Thomson Reuters, who received the Corporate Counsel of the Year Award; Patrice P. Jean, a partner at Hughes, Hubbard & Reed, LLP., who was given the Private Practitioner of the Year Award; and Gabrielle Lyse Brown, executive director of Diversity and Inclusion at the NYC Bar Association, who received the President’s Award.

Association President Paula Edgar remarked that it was no coincidence that the entire slate of honorees were women.

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“This year’s gala was a celebration of the impact of black lawyers and the need for more intentional efforts to foster diversity in the legal profession,” Edgar said. “We made a deliberate decision to honor a slate of all women honorees to highlight the need for greater gender parity, equity and inclusion.”

The bar association is a citywide bar association for African-American and other minority lawyers. Under Edgar, the organization has outlined its goals by using the theme: IMPACT, which stands for Innovation, Mentoring, Partnership, Advocacy, Community and Training.

The annual gala is a major way for the association to raise money to fulfill its goals. This year’s gala raised more than $350,000, which will be used for various events and scholarships.

BELOW: Pictured from left: Anta Cisse-Green, Carolyn Edgar, Alison Moore, MBBA President Paula T. Edgar, Jason Clark, Carl Forbes Jr., Patrick Michel, Karume James, Areal Allen-Stewart, Luwick Francois, Zalikah Pierre, Calvin Winfield, Wayne Mackenzie, Turquoise Haskin and Jenesha Tai. Photo courtesy of the MBBA by Dos Ojos Media
BELOW: Front row from left: Hon. L. Priscilla Hall, Hon. Yvonne Lewis, Hon. Lewis Douglass and Hon. Robert Reed. Back row from left: Hon. Alvin Yearwood, Hon. Cristel Garland, Hon. Joanne Quinones, Hon. Erika Edwards, Hon. Ruth Shillingford, Hon. Edwina G. Mendelson and Hon. Guy Mitchell. Photo courtesy of the MBBA by Dos Ojos Media 

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