BY LIONEL GREAVES IV
Q. How and when did your Minority Bar Association (MBA) get started?
The Loren Miller Bar Association (LMBA) was started in August 1968 by our 13 founders,11 www.lmba.net/founders. Black attorneys who joined together to further the cause of civil rights.
Q. What are some of the core goals and/or purposes of your MBA?
LMBA works to confront institutionalized racism, build a better legal system, provide information on important legal and policy issues, and facilitate both access to and progression within the legal profession for our members, our community, and by extension all people in Washington.
Q. What need does your MBA fill that is unmet elsewhere?
There are many groups doing great work to assist the Black community, but LMBA is the largest, oldest, and only statewide association of Black attorneys in Washington.
Q. What are a few of the opportunities or benefits that your members receive?
LMBA maintains an active jobs board, provides monthly meetings and newsletters to keep members informed of important community issues, offers opportunities to participate in the judicial evaluation process, and regularly lends the weight of our organization to amicus briefs, service opportunities, or other interests championed by individual members.
Q. Does your MBA offer any mentorship or scholarship opportunities? If so, please describe.
In partnership with the Loren Miller Bar Foundation, LMBA provides access to scholarships for law students studying for the bar exam and for undergraduate students taking the LSAT. We provide informal mentorship matching that can be accessed by contacting us through our website.
Q. What is a recent MBA accomplishment, current project, or event that you are excited about?
LMBA has worked with many other advocates on reforming jury selection to be more inclusive and to combat bias. This work22 www.aclu-wa.org/file/103708/download?token=pIDKbJrg. resulted in GR 3733 www.courts.wa.gov/court_rules/pdf/GR/GA_GR_37_00_00.pdf. in Washington state, and we continued our advocacy in Arizona,44 www.azcourts.gov/Rules-Forum/aft/1196/afpg/2. which helped influence that state to eliminate peremptory challenges.55 www.vox.com/22648651/arizona-jury-race-batson-kentucky-peremptory-strikes-challenges-thurgood-marshall.
Q. How can WSBA members support the work of your MBA?
WSBA members can sign up for a free account on our website, which allows them to post jobs, increase their visibility and service to the Black community, and more. They can become paying members, which allows them to have a voice in some of our work and helps fund our organization. They can also support our events, like the annual Philip L. Burton Memorial Scholarship Dinner, which will be happening again in May 2022.
Q. Is there anything else you would like WSBA members to know about your MBA?
We are proud of the work of all who came before us in this space and have gratitude for all our allies seeking a more just society.
LEARN MORE > For more information about LMBA, visit www.lmba.net/.