William H. Brown, III Honored with the American Association for Affirmative Action’s Arthur A. Fletcher Lifetime Achievement AwardOn June 30, 2011 by Schnader in News
William H. Brown, III, senior counsel to Schnader, was the recipient of the Arthur A. Fletcher Lifetime Achievement Award presented by American Association for Affirmative Action at the organization’s annual Access, Equity and Diversity Summit held June 30, 2011 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The award recognizes a lifetime of achievement promoting and advocating for affirmative action, EEO and diversity. Previous recipients include Dr. Julianne Malveaux, a writer, speaker and President of Bennett College for Women; Frank Wu, Chancellor and Dean of UC Hastings College of the Law; Cynthia E. Nance, Dean of the University of Arkansas School of Law; Wade Henderson, President and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; and the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr.
Founded in 1974, the American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA) is a national not-for-profit association of professionals working in the areas of affirmative action, equal opportunity, and diversity. AAAA assists its members to be more successful and productive in their careers. It also promotes understanding and advocacy of affirmative action to enhance access and equality in employment, economic and educational opportunities.
Mr. Brown is the former Chairman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) and is nationally known in the field of employment discrimination. During his tenure as Chairman (1969-1973), he took significant steps in establishing the Commission’s role in American life and in fighting discrimination.
Mr. Brown has been a trailblazer for minorities in the profession from the very beginning of his legal career, joining with a group of African American lawyers and forming what is considered by many to be Philadelphia’s first African-American law firm, Norris Schmidt Green Harris Higginbotham & Brown, after his graduation from law school. He also served for some time as the Chief of the Fraud Unit and as a Deputy District Attorney for the City of Philadelphia.
After his time with the EEOC, Mr. Brown returned to private practice, joining Schnader. His practice includes employment law matters, as well as alternative dispute resolution, mediation and arbitration matters. He also served on the Firm’s Executive Committee from 1983 – 1987. He has served as a mediator for Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association. He also has served as a Judge Pro Tem for the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas since 1995.
Consistently respected for his experience, perspective, wisdom and dedication to the law, he frequently has been asked or chosen to play a role in important commissions and public working groups. Most notably, he served as chair of the Philadelphia Special Investigation Commission that investigated the MOVE tragedy in 1985. He also was co-chair of the Board of Directors for the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights from 1991-1993, and currently serves on the City of Philadelphia’s Board of Ethics, having been appointed by Mayor Nutter in December 2010.
Active within the profession, Mr. Brown is a Life Fellow of the American Law Institute and a Life Member of the National Bar Association, as well as a member of the International Academy of Trail Lawyers, a faculty member at the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, a member of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and a member of the American, Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Bar Associations. From 1983 to 2003, he served on the Board of Directors for United Parcel Service and was recognized as an Honorary Member of the UPS Corporate Legal Department in 2003. Additionally, he is active in multiple cultural, social and nonprofit organizations.
Mr. Brown has been recognized time and again as a leader in the profession, and has been listed for more than ten years with The Best Lawyers in America in the area of labor and employment law. He is also listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the East, Who’s Who Among African Americans, Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in Finance and Industry, and The National Law Journal’s Who’s Who of Employment/Labor Lawyers. In 2000, Mr. Brown was recognized with a Distinguished Alumni Award of Merit from his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Also recognized for his commitment to public service, Mr. Brown has been honored to receive the Earl G. Harrison Pro Bono Award (2001), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Spirit of Partnership Award (2003), and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Lifetime Achievement Award (2004).