Schnader Attorneys Contribute to The Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual BreakfastOn January 21, 2008 by Schnader in Corporate
January 21, 2008
At this year’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Memorial Breakfast hosted by the Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia, Schnader attorneys presented and accepted awards, and contributed to the overall success of the morning.
The rich legacy and tradition by Schnader in supporting the ideals and principles of diversity, community service, fairness in the application of the law, and the courage to champion unpopular causes was omnipresent in the morning’s activities.
Schnader’s retired partner and senior counsel Bill Brown delivered a stirring, emotional keynote address and accepted the Outstanding Organization Award on behalf of Norris Schmidt Green Harris Higginbotham & Brown. The Norris Schmidt firm, often referred to as “Philadelphia’s first African American law firm,” served as the training ground for pioneers and so many superstars of our legal profession. Bill was presented and introduced most eloquently by Schnader’s own Al Dandridge. In his remarks, Bill spoke passionately about the reasons the Norris Schmidt firm was created–among them, because the best and brightest African American lawyers had no other place to go, regardless of their credentials and abilities, and about the state of the legal profession here in Pennsylvania when he joined. At that time, there were few African Americans studying in our nation’s law schools or practicing members of the bar, and there were significant barriers preventing African American lawyers from becoming members of the bar. Additionally, at that time, there were no African American judges, few African American jurors, and an abundance of discrimination.
Former Schnader partner Stephanie Franklin-Suber was recognized with the Woman of Distinction Award. The program noted, and Stephanie spoke warmly about, her time at Schnader first as an associate, then as the first African-American and first woman partner in the Business Services Department of our Firm. Stephanie was recognized for her efforts to advance the careers of other minority women, and for her character, poise, professionalism and concern for the advancement of her gender and her race.
Finally, our colleague Rachel Branson was a driving force behind the success of the breakfast and the presentation. Rachel was recognized for her service as co-chair of the Memorial Breakfast Committee. She also serves in the organization’s leadership as an elected member of the Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia.
To recognize Black History Month, Schnader honors African American lawyers who lived and served the cities in which Schnader has offices. For each of the 29 days in the month of February, we will highlight a different African American attorney who has made a significant impact on the legal profession. Please take some time to learn more about these legal giants that we honor for their achievements and contributions to society. Be sure to check back every day to read about each of the attorneys we will be highlighting.