The purpose of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association (MBBA), a unified citywide association of African-American and other minority lawyers, is to advance equality and excellence in the pursuit of justice, aid the progress of Blacks and other minorities in the profession, address legal issues affecting the citywide community, and foster the study of law by encouraging the personal and professional development of young lawyers and law students.
Founded on July 5, 1984, the Metropolitan Black Bar Association was created from the merger of the Harlem Lawyers Association, founded in 1921 and the Bedford Stuyvesant Lawyers Association, founded in 1933. As one of the largest organizations of Black attorneys in New York State, the MBBA continues the rich legacy of its two predecessor organizations by providing a voice for Black legal professionals in the communities it serves.
Today, the MBBA is comprised of mostly minority attorneys in large and small law firms, solo practitioners, all levels of government, academia, corporations, financial institutions, not-for-profit organizations and the judiciary.
Meet our past presidents
Shirley Stewart Farmer, Esq. (1984 – 1985)
Emmanuel Towns, Esq. (1985 – 1986)
Bradley Backus, Esq. (1986 – 1989)
Denise A. Outram, Esq. (1989 – 1992)
Le’Roi L. Gill, Esq. (1992 – 1994)
Andrew G. Maloney, Esq. (1994 – 1995)
Kim Adair Wilson, Esq. (1995 – 1996)
Claude Trahan, Esq. (1996 – 1998)
Lloyd W. Brown, II, Esq. (1998 – 2000)
Lauren R. Raysor, Esq. (2000 – 2002)
William D. Bowman, Esq. (2003 – 2005)
Nadine C. Johnson, Esq. (2005 – 2007)
Xavier R. Donaldson, Esq. (2007 – 2009)
Dakota D. Ramseur, Esq. (2009 – 2010)
Joseph Drayton, Esq. (2010 – 2012)
R. Nadine Fontaine, Esq. (2012 – 2014)
Taa R. Grays, Esq. (2014 - 2016)
Paula T. Edgar, Esq. (2016 - 2018)
** The MBBA is an affiliate of the National Bar Association (“NBA”). Founded in 1925, the NBA is the nation’s oldest and largest association of African American lawyers and judges. To learn more about the National Bar Association, visit to www.nba.org