February 2020
Engage. Empower. Elevate.
President's Message
The Year is Off to a Great Start!

Wow - it's been a little over a month since I took the helm as President and it's been quite exciting so far! 

In January, we co-hosted, along with Black Women Lawyers Association of LA, a re-imagined All Day Bar Prep Course with a combination of new presentations and our legacy speakers, including Judge Kelvin Filer, Judge Bruce Brodie, Justice Carol D. Codrington, Ret. Justice Candace Cooper, and Al Jenkins. Thank you to the Education Committee Co-Chairs Amanda Murray and Mark McLaughlin for a great event!

Our annual Board Retreat took place in Miami Beach, FL on January 10-12.  During the retreat, we discussed our theme for the year – Engage. Empower. Elevate. We also worked on strategic programming and goal setting for the year, and spent time building comradery amongst the Board members.  We returned from the retreat with a clear sense of purpose for what we can accomplish in 2020.

In line with our community driven focus, Langston presented a Power of the Vote: Candidate Forum featuring all four candidates for LA County Supervisor District 2 at the historical Miracle Theater in Inglewood on Feb. 1st and co-presented, along with League of Women Voters, a Los Angeles County District Attorney Candidate Forum on Feb. 13th. 

The 2020 Langston Gala on February 7th was a phenomenal success! I was officially sworn in along with the rest of the Board. We honored four accomplished leaders - Honorable Karen L. Stevenson, Hill Harper, Renata Smith, and Catrice Monson. Most importantly, we awarded $100,000 in scholarships to nine exceptional law school students. Thank you to our amazing Gala Chair Valarie Dean and the entire Gala Committee.  Thank you to all the sponsors and all of you who attended.  For more info about the gala, the honorees, and the scholarship recipients - Check out the Digital Gala Journal .

I believe this will be a pivotal year for Langston, as we continue to engage our members and the community, empower the next generation, and elevate the profession. I look forward to everyone getting involved and continuing to support our mission!  

Nyanza Shaw, Esq.
President, John M. Langston Bar Association
John Mercer Langston (1829-1897) was an abolitionist, attorney, educator, activist, diplomat, and politician. He was the founding dean of Howard University's law school, was the first Black man ever to practice law before the U.S. Supreme Court, and served in the U.S. Congress.
. Volunteer Lawyers Needed:
First AME Church of Los Angeles (FAME) hosts Free Legal Clinics every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month and is looking for Attorneys to come volunteer to provide pro bono legal services. Practice areas: Family Law, Landlord-Tenant, Real Estate, Criminal, Employment, Personal Injury, Bankruptcy/Credit, Trust/Wills/Probate, and Worker's Compensation.

To volunteer or for more info, contact Family Law Committee Chair Margo Bouchet
Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF) will be holding its 39th Annual California Mock Trial Finals on March 20-22, 2020, for the first time ever in Los Angeles County.  
The legal community is vital to the success of the program and provides over 800 high school students from throughout California with a chance to interact with positive role models, as well as an opportunity to learn from experts in law. Over 300 judges and attorneys are needed to volunteer for this year’s competition.  Please consider volunteering your time on one or more of the dates below. All trials will be held at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Los Angeles. Refreshments will be provided.
  • Friday, March 20 — Round 1 at 5:15 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 21 — Round 2 at 8:30 a.m.
  • Saturday, March 21— Round 3 at 12:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 21— Round 4 at 4:30 p.m.

Sign-up to volunteer today
To empower leadership, advance the professional development of its membership, and promote the administration of justice in the
Black community and the community at large.