It is an honor and privilege to lead the D. Augustus Straker Bar Association this coming bar year as its 26th President.
On October 4, 1990, our founders established the D. Augustus Straker Bar Association as a proactive organization of diverse attorneys with a mission of promoting legal practice opportunities for people of color and facilitating equal justice for all citizens in Oakland County. Our mission has since expanded, as we work to deliver opportunities for attorneys throughout the region. Ultimately, it is our goal to carry on, and build upon, the illustrious legacy of David Augustus Straker.
From the founding of the Straker Bar Association, as an Affiliate Chapter of the National Bar Association, Straker has worked to make a significant, positive contribution to the legal profession. In doing so, Straker maintains its goals of increasing diversity in the legal profession and providing legal services to underserved communities. Our twenty-five year history exemplifies our commitment to achieving these goals.
We will strive to expand our legal outreach in Oakland County and beyond to low-income and underserved communities. We look forward to engaging in more pro bono work this year and enhancing our collaborations with other affinity bar associations. We will continue to provide excellent services to our members, including exclusive employment opportunities, tailored and informative membership meetings, and networking events.
Now in its 25th year, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major for Justice Oral Advocacy Competition was initiated by the Straker Bar Association through one of its founders, A. Kay Stanfield Spinks. The annual competition is jointly sponsored by the D. Augustus Straker Bar Association, Wolverine Bar Association and the Association of Black Judges in Michigan.
Our other main programming includes the Bar Passage Program for the February Bar and the Corporate Counsel Breakfast. The purpose of these events are to promote opportunities for in-house counsel to network with diverse attorneys who practice at law firms. The Corporate Counsel Breakfast events also demonstrate the importance for law firms to maintain commitment to diversity and for in-house counsel to maintain their commitment to retain diverse outside counsel. During our annual Trailblazers Dinner, we will continue to award worthy law students with scholarships and honor those individuals who made an indelible mark on our profession.
It is with great anticipation and pride in our membership that I hope to carry the torch of our past presidents and founders. It is its enduring devotion to service, its tireless work toward professional advancement, and its dedication to ensuring equal access to justice that distinguishes the D. Augustus Straker Bar Association. And it is my goal to write another successful chapter in this organization’s storied history.
Very truly yours,
Kymberly N. Kinchen