Old Dominion Bar Association





    A Message From the President

As President of the Old Dominion Bar Association, I take the mantle of this illustrious organization as its third generation of members seek to achieve the long-held goals of obtaining fair and equitable representation and participation of African American lawyers in every aspect of the bar life and civic engagement in the Commonwealth of Virginia and beyond.  The need for African American attorneys is never more apparent as the society wrestles with challenges to the social fabric and legal underpinnings of American society.

 

To ensure the promises of the civil society for African Americans and others in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Old Dominion Bar Association has advocated for the full participation of African Americans in the bar and on the bench.   The need for such advocacy and representation has not waned. African Americans comprise 12% of the U.S. population but  comprise less than 4% of the attorneys in private firms and 7 % of the law student population in ABA accredited law schools.  So, the Old Dominion Bar Association continues its efforts to advance the causes established by our founders.  The ranks of every aspect of the bar and the bench must reflect the African American population in the Commonwealth and the U.S. not simply for our aggrandizement, which is warranted, but to ensure that all aspects of the community, the advantaged and the disadvantaged, have access to the services of African American attorneys with the collective experience and perspective of various aspects of society despite the normal attrition that befalls all attorneys.

 

As Oliver Hill said in 1942, “If you are very, very busy – we need you.  If you don’t think you can afford it, you need us.”   As the African American bar progresses, the ranks become appropriately filled with those who can best serve society as civil servants, municipal leaders, lawyer-legislators, and judges without diminishing the ranks of those who serve all aspects of society.  As President of the Old Dominion Bar Association, we will pursue every opportunity to enlarge the ranks of the African American bar as we continue to pursue equality and advancement for all despite race, creed, color, sexual orientation, or socio-economic status.


Solomon H. Ashby, Jr.
President, Old Dominion Bar Association


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