News and Information
March 06, 2023

Historic South Hampton Roads Bar Association to Celebrate 100th Birthday

William T. mason Jr., EsqOn April 15, 2023, the South Hampton Roads Bar Association (“SHRBA”), the nation’s oldest predominantly African American state bar association, will celebrate its centennial anniversary with a gala in Virginia Beach. The Honorable Cleo E. Powell of the Supreme Court of Virginia will be the keynote speaker and members of the Virginia General Assembly will present a Joint Resolution in honor of late President Emeritus William Thomas Mason Jr. All those interested in celebrating this historic milestone are invited.

Founded in 1923, when segregation precluded Black attorneys from joining other national and state bar associations, the SHRBA has for 10 decades worked to eliminate segregation, fostered an environment of mentorship for its members, and strived to make the legal profession and the judiciary more diverse and representative in the Commonwealth.

Recently deceased civil rights icon and SHRBA President Emeritus William T. Mason Jr. will be honored during the evening. For 70 years, Mason not only served as the backbone of the SHRBA but was also the first African American to become an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia when he was appointed by President John F. Kennedy in 1963.

A reception begins at 5:00 pm, with dinner following at 6:00 pm. There will be an audio-visual presentation on the life and legacy of President Emeritus Mason and the history of the SHRBA. Individuals or law firms interested in buying tickets or full tables in support of the event may do so here

For more information, please contact SHRBA President W. Marcus Scriven, or Makiba A. Gaines, Esq.,

Photo caption: William T. Mason Jr., Esq. 

Updated: Mar 06, 2023