The Capital Area Bar Association and the Jackson Young Lawyers Association will hold their annual Evening Honoring the Judiciary on Thursday, May 17, 2018. The event will again be held at the Country Club of Jackson. Join us for a reception at 6:00 p.m., followed by dinner at 7:00 p.m.
This year's keynote speaker will be the Honorable Bernice B. Donald of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Judge Donald is a native of DeSoto County, Mississippi. She earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Memphis, and her law degree from the University of Memphis's Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. Unlike many lawyers whose professional careers focus on a single area of the law, Judge Donald's career has included areas as diverse as civil rights, criminal law, and bankruptcy law. She began in private practice, then worked for Memphis Area Legal Services and the Shelby County Public Defender's Office before being elected, at age 30, to her first judicial position on Tennessee's General Sessions Criminal Court. She was the first female African-American judge in Tennessee.
Judge Donald then served as a United States Bankruptcy Judge from 1988-1995. In 1995, she was nominated by President Bill Clinton to become a United States District Judge for the Western District of Tennessee. She was confirmed the same year, and served as a district judge for 15 years, before being nominated for the Sixth Circuit by President Barack Obama in 2010. In nominating Judge Donald for the Sixth Circuit, President Obama noted her outstanding commitment to public service. She was confirmed to the Sixth Circuit seat in 2011, by a vote of 96 to two.
Among many other significant achievements, Judge Donald has been president of the American Bar Foundation, secretary of the American Bar Association, has chaired the ABA Commission on Opportunities for Minorities in the Profession, and has worked throughout her career to promote access to justice, civil rights, and inclusion. In 2014, she was awarded the John H. Pickering Award of Achievement by the American Bar Association, given to recognize dedication to the cause of equal justice for all and the highest standards of ethics and professionalism in the law.
Please join CABA and JYL at the Country Club of Jackson on May 17, for this annual celebration to honor our state and federal judiciary, as well as the recipients of the organizations' annual outstanding service, pro bono and professionalism awards. We are looking forward to an evening of fellowship, to the opportunity to recognize and thank our judges, and especially to hearing Judge Donald's insights.
Thank you to CABA's Silver, Gold, and Platinum Sponsors for supporting this event.