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The John Mercer Langston Bar Association was officially formed in 1998, and named after John Mercer Langston, who was an extraordinary individual. John Mercer Langston was an African American man who lived in the 1850’s when racism in America was commonplace. However, Mr. Langston did not let the numerous obstacles he faced stand in his way. Mr. Langston was not able to attend law school, but a local judge gave him the opportunity to study law in his chambers. With this sliver of opportunity Mr. Langston excelled and eventually became the first African American admitted to the Ohio State Bar. He later went on to become the first African American to argue in front of the United States Supreme Court and he eventually went on to establish schools for freed slaves.
Mr. Langston was later elected to Congress and founded Howard University Law School. His extraordinary efforts were recognized in 1998 when a consortium of African American Attorneys in Ohio wanted to further their presence in the local legal community and they formed the John Mercer Langston Bar Association, which is dedicated to promoting diversity in the legal profession. Today the John Mercer Langston Bar Association has over 345 members and is working diligently to promote diversity in the legal profession and make John Mercer Langston proud of the progress that is being made.
The John Mercer Langston Bar Association accomplishes their mission of promoting diversity in the legal profession by sending members to local middle schools and high schools to encourage African American students to pursue careers in law. The John Mercer Langston Bar Association also hosts luncheons to encourage prospective law students, provides mixers for first year law students, conducts seminars where attorney members explain legal rights to the public, conducts walk-a-thons, and other fundraising events to contribute to the development of African Americans in the legal community.
Membership is open to attorneys who want to foster the development of African Americans in the legal community. To become a member you need to fill out a membership application and pay an annual due ranging from $0 for law students and recently admitted attorneys to $100 for attorneys who have been in practice for more than three years. Potential members are also strongly encouraged to donate additional funds to the John Mercer Langston scholarship fund.
P.O. Box 1551
Columbus, OH 43216