All posts by Kim Parker

“Suited for Success” Men’s Suit Drive

The Metropolitan Black Bar Association hosted a Men’s Suit Drive for ex-offenders recently released from Rikers Island Prison Complex. The drive would not have been possible without the support of “100 Suits For 100 Men,” which is a not-for-profit organization committed to reducing prison recidivism by assisting ex-offenders in finding gainful employment. 

Masquerade Black Ball Affair

On Friday, February 24, 2017, MBBA held our inaugural Masquerade Black Ball Affair at the Paper Factory Hotel. 

“I Am A Solution” Legal Solutions for Improving the Criminal Justice System

During the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus on February 17 - 19, MBBA hosted the "I Am A Solution" Legal Solutions for Improving the Criminal Justice System. MBBA also co-sponsored the Capital District Black & Hispanic Bar Association's CLE about How to Become a Judge, followed by a reception.

Black History Month Celebration

In celebration of Black History Month, on Thursday, February 16, 2017 we honored Congressman Charles B. Rangel. Opening remarks were given by Hon. Robert Katzmann, Chief Judge of the US Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit and MBBA President Paula T. Edgar. 

New York City Bar Diversity in ADR Scholarship


The City Bar is pleased to offer a limited number of scholarships to the upcoming Basic and Advanced mediation training programs in an effort to encourage diverse attorneys to consider adding Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to their practices. These programs are approved under Part 146 of the Rules of the Chief of the Chief Administrative Judge and satisfy the training requirements of many local court ADR panels. The offerings include:

For each of the below Mediation Trainings at the New York City Bar Association for 2017:

Two (2) Full Scholarships; &

Two (2) 50% Discount Scholarships (50% discount off of the regular live program member/nonmember price, the full price of which is noted below).

A wide variety of cultural and life experiences enrich the mediation process by bringing diverse perspectives to resolving disputes.

If you would like to be considered for the scholarship, please send your resume to Gabrielle Brown at by close of business on Friday, March 10. Please indicate if you are applying for the basic or advanced training. To read more about the trainings themselves, please see below:

Basic Mediation Training: Conflict Resolution Theory & Techniques

March 21, 22, 28 & 29, 2017 | 9 am - 5 pm Live Program: $1795 Member | $1995 Nonmember

Advanced Commercial Mediation Training

Wednesday, June 7Thursday, June 8 & Friday, June 9, 2017 | 9 am - 5 pm Live Program: $899 Member | $1099 Nonmember

Please contact Monica Parks or Gabrielle Brown with any questions or needs - we hope many of you will apply!



2nd Circuit Pro Bono Panel Announcement

The Criminal Justice Act/Pro Bono Committee is accepting applications for the Second Circuit's Pro Bono Panel. The deadline is April 30, 2017. Please refer to the Court's official announcement here. The Plan for the Appointment of Pro Bono Counsel and the application form are available here.

NYC Bar Office for Diversity Associate Leadership Institute

Dear Signatories,  

 The New York City Bar is now accepting nominations for the inaugural Associate Leadership Institute, a five-part series of high-level development training for 4th-8th year associates at signatory firms. The institute will include keynote speakers, intensive training modules, and networking opportunities. The program will run from April - July 2017, and will be held on Fridays at the City Bar. 

  Curriculum will include workshops on the following topics: 

  • Executive Presence & Impactful Communication Skills
  • Building Your Personal Brand: Leveraging Strengths & Mitigating Weakness
  • Leveraging Your Network: Mentor & Sponsor Relationships
  • Rainmaking, Business Development/Client Relationships
  • Practice & Career Planning and Transitioning

Interested candidates must submit a complete Nomination Form (includes a 500-word statement of interest), resume and/or firm bio, and a letter of recommendation to to be considered. The nomination deadline is Friday, March 17th.

  More information about the Institute is available at

  We are most grateful for your continued support and look forward to working with you on this impactful initiative.  

Gabrielle Lyse Brown

Gabrielle Lyse Brown 

Director of Diversity and Inclusion  

New York City Bar Association 

212.382.6713 | |


In Celebration of Our Black History: Highlighting NBA President Emeritus O. T. Wells

February 14, 2017


In honor of Black History Month, join the National Bar Association (NBA) in saluting the accomplishments of African American pioneers who have shaped the legal community. Throughout February, we will highlight heroes who have worked to advance the respect and rights of minorities in the scope of the law. We invite NBA members to submit biographies of African American leaders that have made important contributions to breaking down barriers and redefining what it means to be a lawyer of color. We will share these celebrations as sources of discussion, appreciation and inspiration. Part of our NBA mission is to ensure the work of past innovators is not forgotten, but carried forward.


Ozro Thaddeus "OT" Wells, Esq.
President of the National Bar Association (1972-1973) 

In 1959, President Emeritus Ozro Thaddeus Wells (O.T.) co-founded one of the first minority law firms in lower Manhattan that focused on criminal defense work.

During the height of the Civil Rights era, Wells was co-counsel in the first sit-in cases in New York State and represented one of the leading civil rights organizations, the Council for Racial Equality (CORE). He also represented attorneys, judges, elected officials, and the late great jazz trumpeter, Miles Davis. In the early 1970s, Wells worked for the Department of Defense under President Richard Nixon, and traveled with a delegation to Germany where they investigated issues between Black United States military personnel and German nationals.

As President of the National Bar Association, Wells was called upon during the Watergate scandal to be a member of Attorney General Elliot Richardson's five-man advisory.

Wells has served as General Counsel for the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), and he has also served as counsel to the Presiding Bishop and General Board of COGIC. He is presently "Of Counsel" to the law firm of Donaldson & Chilliest, LLP. in New York City. Attorney Wells is barred in the states of New York and Massachusetts, within the US Supreme Court; the US Court of Appeals for the Second and Fifth Circuits, and the US District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. He received his bachelors degree from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia (1953) and his law degree from Boston University School of Law. Attorney Wells also served in the U.S. Army in the Signal Corps in its meteorology department.


The National Bar Association was founded in 1925 and is the nation’s oldest and largest national network of predominantly African-American attorneys and judges. It represents the interests of approximately 60,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and law students. The NBA is organized around 23 substantive law sections, nine divisions, 12 regions and 80 affiliate chapters throughout the United States and around the world. For more information, visit: