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DETROIT – Each year, Metro Detroit’s attorneys, judges, politicians and guests gather to celebrate the Wolverine Bar Association’s annual Barristers’ Ball – a renowned, festive event that honors high achievers in law, tributes the association’s history and raises funds for law student scholarships, clerkships and other charitable efforts.

A Monte Carlo Affair is this year’s theme for the 53rd annual Barristers’ Ball, which will be held Saturday, April 12th beginning at 9:00 p.m. at the Motor City Casino Hotel Grand Ballroom in downtown Detroit. Tickets are $100.

This black-tie affair is the organization’s signature event, known to draw the city’s most prominent legal and business professionals. Over 1200 guests are expected to attend this year’s Monte Carlo – one of 2014’s most coveted occasions in Detroit.

The ball will honor the WBA’s commitment to diversity, excellence in the legal profession, and improvement to the quality of life in the Metropolitan Detroit area. The following notables and organization will be honored at the event’s President’s Reception:

  • Honorable Damon J. Keith: 2014 WBA “Living Legacy Award.” This award is being given in recognition of his distinguished career as an esteemed advocate for equal access to justice and equal justice under the law.
  • Chokwe Lumumba: Posthumous recipient of the 2014 WBA “Michelle Miller Access to Justice Award.” This award is being given in recognition of his renowned career as a zealous advocate for civil rights and equality.
  • Faye Nelson: 2014 WBA “Renaissance Award.” This award is being given in recognition of her outstanding work in revitalizing the City of Detroit, and especially its riverfront.
  • Chance for Life Organization: 2014 WBA “Community Impact Award.” This award is being given in recognition of their unparalleled work in assisting ex-offenders with a successful transition into their family, work and social communities.”

In addition, three Damon J. Keith scholarships will be awarded on April 12th to the following law students: Hope Campbell, Randall Tatem and Alex Bowman.

The Wolverine Bar Association (WBA) is an organization established by a group of African-American attorneys who, in the early 1900’s, brought together the energies and talents of lawyers who were admitted to practice throughout Michigan.

Since its inception, the Wolverine Bar Association assumed a leadership role in community and political activities to ensure equal access to justice and promote minority representation in the legal field. The role continues to be paramount in its endeavors today.

Most notably, the Barristers’ Ball provides critical funding for the Wolverine Bar Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, which is the charitable arm of the WBA.

“It is through the continued, generous support of legal professionals, business leaders and community stakeholders that the WBA has been able to carry out its mission for more than 80 years,” says Ronda Tate, president of the WBA and senior associate at Lewis and Munday, PC in Detroit. “The Michigan legal community is full of attorneys and judges who have benefitted from a myriad of professional and educational opportunities offered by the WBA such as the Summer Clerkship Program, Federal Judicial Externship Program and Minority Bar Passage Program, as well as the numerous scholarships that have been awarded by the Foundation.”

“In addition to promoting the success of law students, the WBA hosts pipeline programs directed towards middle and high school students to expose them to a career in the law. The WBA’s impact also extends to the local community through a variety of outreach programs, legal clinics and the provision of pro bono services. The ball provides an excellent forum for celebrating these endeavors while enjoying an entertaining evening of networking with key members of the legal and business communities.” says Tate, WBA president.

The Barristers’ Ball is preceded by the President’s Reception, beginning at 7 p.m., where scholarships will be awarded to high-achieving law students. The ball will feature food, live entertainment, and dancing.

To purchase Barristers’ Ball tickets or tables, call (313) 962-0250, email the Wolverine Bar Association at WBAoffice@ameritech.net or go to www.53rdbarristersball.eventbrite.com.

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