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The ROchester Black bar Association



WHo WE Are



In 1994, attorneys Kendal Tyre, Jr., Don M. Wade and Margaret Williams conceptualized an organization that would not only provide a support network for African American lawyers in the greater Rochester community, but also tap into the resources and network of the National Bar Association (NBA). The NBA, the oldest and largest national association of predominately African-American lawyers and judges, had no affiliate chapter in Rochester at that time. In the fall of 1994, the vision of these attorneys was realized when the Rochester Black Bar Association (RBBA) was formally established.

OUR FIRST MEETING: On April 28, 1995, the RBBA held its first organizational meeting where many African-American attorneys in Monroe County gathered to determine long and short range goals and within the community. Later, drawing on the insight and wisdom of J. Richard Everett, Esq., the Honorable Roy Wheatley King and Rozetta Darby McDowell, Esq, icons in Rochester’s African American legal community, the RBBA’s leadership further expanded its efforts toward mentoring, legal education and community service.

COMMUNITY DISCUSSION: The RBBA hosted its first legal roundtable discussion, “Race and the Law,” in March of 1999. The seminar addressed issues of inequality in the judicial system and focused on approaches toward their resolution. One of the earliest and noteworthy community service endeavors undertaken by the RBBA was its Computers in the Community Initiative. In April of 1999, the RBBA provided computers to Rochester City Schools and Baden Street Settlement. This initiative culminated in a dedication ceremony at Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery. RBBA gained national attention when Clyde E. Bailey, Sr., RBBA Member and patent counsel at the Eastman Kodak Company, was elected as the 61st President of the NBA. In October of 2003, the RBBA hosted the NBA’s 15th Annual Wiley A. Branton Issues Symposium. In addition to hosting a reception for NBA representatives at Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery, the RBBA paid tribute to the Honorable Rueben K. Davis, the Honorable Charles K. Willis and J. Richard Everett, Esq. at the RBBA’s first annual Awards Scholarship Dinner.

OUR CONTINUED GROWTH: The RBBA established its presence internationally when a delegation of forty NBA attorneys including Mr. Bailey, RBBA past President T. Andrew Brown and Yohannes Assefa traveled to South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe in June of 2004 as part of an official delegation to southern Africa. The delegation attended the International Affiliate Meeting, where the NBA’s highest honor was bestowed upon Botswana’s President H.E., Festus Mogae for lifetime contributions to advancing the cause of democracy and human rights. The number of African American attorneys who live and work within the Rochester area has increased. The RBBA continues to address challenges these attorneys face by creating an environment of support for African American lawyers in the Rochester community.

   2018 leadership

Anthony Orphe'


Vice President of Programs

  • Ninteretse Jean Pierre

Vice President of Membership

  • Keana Williams


  • Adrian Neil


  • LaToya Lee


  • Lonnette Merriman




Becoming  A Member

Benefits of membership:

  • Access to a network of members of varied legal backgrounds
  • CLE courses
  • Networking with other bar associations, i.e. MCBA, GRAWA, and sections of the New York State Bar
  • Participating in community service projects
  • Low price membership dues ($50 + $2 processing fee)
  • Affiliation with National Bar Association



Staff Attorney/Volunteer Coordinator


Summary Description: The Staff Attorney/Volunteer Coordinator’s primary responsibility is to recruit, support and recognize pro bono attorneys and other volunteers serving low-income clients through VLSP-sponsored programs. The attorney will also oversee and provide logistical and administrative support for Help Centers at the Hall of Justice and the Rochester Central Library and serve as liaison to the Help Center Advisory Committee chaired by the Administrative Judge of the Seventh Judicial District.


Will be responsible for recruiting, training, and recognizing the contributions of pro bono attorneys, paralegals and other volunteers; developing, planning and conducting legal clinics and seminars; participating in community outreach at local agencies serving low-income clients; coordinating services with bar associations, community groups, law firms, corporations, and the judiciary; providing and coordinating publicity and related activities; assisting in the administration of grants and grant reporting.


Education and/or Experience: Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree and NY admitted attorney in good standing. Legal knowledge of New York civil procedure rules required. Excellent oral, written communication and computer skills, along with the ability to work independently and as a team lead or member. Prior work experience in civil legal services and working with indigent clients and diverse populations helpful. Dedicated commitment to access to justice and desire to work with low-income client population. 


We are an equal opportunity employer. We welcome and encourage responses from candidates of color, ethnic minorities, people who are differently-abled, veterans and LGBTQ persons. 


Salary commensurate with experience. A generous benefits package is offered.

To apply for this position, email a cover letter, resume and business references to Position open until filled. No telephone calls please.



JANUARY 5, 2018

The Monroe County legal community lost a giant with the death of Judge Roy Wheatley King.  Judge King was a Rochester City Court Judge, and the first African-American attorney to work in the City Law Department.  He was a mentor and friend to us in the organization.  He is survived by his wife, Lucille, and his four children and many grandchildren.  He will be greatly missed.

Judge Roy Wheatley King

And Then They Came by Judge King.JPG

Judge king's labor of love

Judge King has worked tirelessly for years to make this dream a reality.  He wanted this legal community to know the rich history of African-American lawyers in Monroe County.  The book is complete.  Now, it is time to publish it.  You can join the RBBA in making this happen.  Please help us make this a legacy to be shared by this legal community for generations to come.