ABOUT THE ASSOCIATION
The Daniel Webster Perkins Bar Association, Inc. was formerly known as the Colored Lawyers Association. In 1968, it changed its name in honor of Jacksonville attorney, D.W. Perkins.
Today, more than 100 local attorneys and judges hold membership in the D.W. Perkins Bar Association.
During most of the past 25 years, the Association has held a Scholarship Banquet. Proceeds have been donated to the United Negro College Fund and, more recently, to new graduates of any Florida law school who have been active in D.W. Perkins Bar community services and need financial assistance while studying for the Florida Bar Examination. In 1995, the Association sponsored the creation of The Daniel Webster Perkins Bar Foundation, Inc., which is a 501(c)(3) organization, to be the primary conduit for its scholarship efforts. In addition to the scholarship grants mentioned above, the Foundation provides scholarships for local middle and high school students as part of an annual Essay Contest on a current legal theme.
The Association has sponsored annual Judicial Receptions honoring the local Judiciary. In recent years, the D.W. Perkins Bar Association has honored then Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Peggy Quince (in 2008) and Florida Supreme Court Justice James E.C. Perry (in 2009).
In 2009, the Virgil Hawkins Florida Chapter of the National Bar Association awarded the D.W. Perkins Bar Association with its "Affiliate Chapter of Year" award in recognition of the many community activities the Association sponsored during the year, including candidate forums, restoration of civil rights projects and mock trials for local elementary school students, which mock trials are held in an actual courtroom.
Founding Members of Jacksonville's Colored Lawyer's Association
Seated (left to right): D. W. Perkins, Robert Robinson. Standing (left to right): Ernest D. Jackson, Sr., Releford McGriff, Alfred Taylor, Robert Gray.
African-American Lawyers in Jacksonville Prior to Colored Lawyers Association
Even prior to the formation of the Colored Lawyers Association, however, the African-American lawyer in Jacksonville enjoyed a rich history.