Commentary: Celebrate the historic 175th Anniversary of the DMBA

The Battle of the Alamo took place way back in 1836. That same year Detroit attorneys began holding regular organized meetings to discuss issues related to the law, the courts, and the city. That assemblage became known as the Detroit Bar Association, later renamed the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association. For 175 years, it has been a vehicle by which Detroit area lawyers have come together, promoting the ideals of the profession, service, leadership, and camaraderie.

For example, more than a hundred years ago, in 1909, the Detroit Bar Association established the Legal Aid Bureau (now known as the Legal Aid and Defender Association) to provide free legal services to the city's poor. It was one of the first such agencies in the country, and the DMBA still continues this tradition of providing pro bono legal services.

The DMBA will celebrate its 175th anniversary on Tuesday, June 7 at the Greektown Casino Hotel, with the past president's reception at 5 p.m. and awards banquet at 6 p.m.

The highlight will be the presentation of the Frank Murphy Award to United States Court of Appeals Judge Cornelia Kennedy. The award is named after the legendary Detroit lawyer who served as mayor of Detroit, governor of Michigan, and justice of the United States Supreme Court. It is perfectly appropriate for this honor to be awarded to Judge Kennedy, a true pioneer in Detroit legal history. Judge Kennedy was the first woman to serve on the DMBA Board of Directors, the first woman appointed to the federal bench in Michigan and the first woman to become the chief judge of a United States District Court. Throughout her career, Judge Kennedy has been a model of professionalism and leadership, wholly devoted to law and justice.

Please join us in honoring the past, celebrating today, and looking forward to the future!

For more information about the Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony on Tuesday June 7th, to register or to inquire about sponsorship opportunities, contact Mitzy Sharp Futro at or 313-961-6120 x201.

Published: Thu, May 26, 2011