Perkins Bar Honors History by Investing in Legal Legacy

Seated L-R are Perkins Bar members: Craig Gibbs, Benjamin L. Crump, Walter Bell, Latasha Garrison-Fullwood, Stephen A. Smith, Leslie Jean-Bart and Dexter Davis. Standing L-R: United States District Court Judge Brian J. Davis, Reginald Estell, William Donley, LaShonda Holloway, Gerald Stewart Reganel Reeves, Joni Poitier, Tammy Butler, Noel Lawrence, Chardea Murray, Sheldon Vann, LaFonda Middleton, Amber Donley, Felicia Wilcox, Lerone Thurston and Duval County Court Judge Lester Bass.

The D.W. Perkins Bar Foundation, Inc. recently held its banquet with the theme, “Social Action: Be the Change You Want to See.” The banquet culminated a highly contested essay contest composed if elementary, middle and high school students and the winners in each category were honored. Additionally, seven Florida Coastal School of Law graduating students received Florida Bar preparation scholarships in a total amount exceeding $5,000. The Foundation also recognized community change agents including Duval County Court Judge Pauline Drake as well as Angela Nixon of the Moxie Group. Noted civil rights lawyer Benjamin L. Crump, who represented the family of Trayvon Martin, served as the speaker.

The D.W. Perkins Bar Association was formerly known as the Colored Lawyers Association. In 1968, it changed its name in honor of Daniel Webster Perkins who graduated from Shaw University Law School in 1902. A civil rights proponent and community leader, Mr. Perkins, settled in Jacksonville and continued to practice until his death in 1972. The Foundation was started in 1995 to provide scholarships funds to deserving students.

Attorney Stephen A. Smith, who serves as President of the Association, stated “I’m pleased to serve my hometown by leading the organization and salute our members who give back through pro bono legal service, awarding scholarships to deserving law school students, pushing to increase diversity on our local bench, and advocating on social issues that impact our community.”

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