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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


New York Law School Assistant Dean for Academic Success

New York Law School, a dynamic urban law center in the heart of Tribeca, is seeking an Assistant Dean for Academic Success. Our longstanding institutional commitment to our students' academic success has produced a curriculum with significant components designed to help each individual student's academic development. In this newly created position, the Assistant Dean for Academic Success will lead the design and implementation of strategies and programs to enhance student learning, so that students can perform more effectively in their law school courses and on the bar exam. In particular, working under the direction of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and in conjunction with the Academic Support Committee and the Curriculum Committee, the Assistant Dean for Academic Success will lead a process to identify optimal approaches, in both the curricular and co-curricular components of academic support, for communicating a cohesive institutional message to students about their learning goals and methods throughout their time in law school. The Assistant Dean for Academic Success also will work to provide faculty with creative approaches they may use to enhance the performance of underperforming students as part of an overall institutional teaching and learning strategy. The Assistant Dean for Academic Success also will teach appropriate courses.This is a senior administrative position with the possibility of faculty status, depending on qualifications, experience, and performance.

• J.D. from an accredited law school and bar admission
• A strong history of relevant teaching / program planning experience
• A strong commitment to service and evidence of ability to work well with faculty, students and staff in a variety of settings are essential.
• Effective and professional written and oral communication skills.

Compensation is highly competitive and commensurate with experience and includes a full range of benefits and support for professional development.

Available to begin immediately.

Founded in 1891, New York Law School (NYLS) is an independent law school located in the heart of New York City’s legal, government, financial, and emerging tech centers. Known as “New York’s law school,” NYLS embraces the city as its classroom by complementing a rigorous legal education with an innovative and diverse set of “uniquely New York” experiential learning opportunities. Since opening its doors, NYLS has produced graduates who have gone on to hold high elected and appointed office in the City, lead large and small firms, and gain broad recognition as captains of business and industry. Its renowned faculty of prolific scholars has built the School’s strength in key areas of the law, including business and finance; government and public interest; and intellectual property, media, technology, and applied sciences. NYLS has more than 18,000 graduates and currently enrolls approximately 900 students in its full-time, part-time, and Two-Year Honors J.D. programs. The School also offers an advanced-degree program in Tax Law.

HOW TO APPLY: Candidates should send a cover letter, resume, and salary requirements to William P. LaPiana, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Student Engagement, at

New York Law School is an Equal Opportunity Employer


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.