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BLACK ENTERPRISE Unveils America's Top Black Lawyers; From Corporate Law to Criminal Litigation, African American Attorneys are Making a Powerful Impact.

NEW YORK, Oct. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- For more than a century, from the "separate but equal" ruling of Plessy v. Ferguson to the recent Michigan case upholding affirmative action, the law has been the decisive factor concerning black ascent in education, politics, business, and all facets of American society. African American lawyers numbered a mere 3,000 at the height of the Black Power Movement in the 1970s. Today, they surpass 20,000. In fact, over the last three decades, the American legal landscape has changed dramatically. Black attorneys have been appointed to judgeships and other powerful political positions, while black law firms have emerged as powerhouses for major corporations and companies. Many current business and political leaders began their careers as attorneys, including Vernon E. Jordan Jr., who serves as one of the senior executives at Lazard Freres, Willie Brown, Mayor of San Francisco and the first black Speaker of the House in California, and L. Douglas Wilder, the first African American to be elected Governor of Virginia. Led by Contributing Editor Carolyn M. Brown, and assisted by a team of researchers, BLACK ENTERPRISE spent more than six months developing a groundbreaking list of attorneys whose expertise spans the gambit of top legal services. The results comprise BE's premiere list of the 90 top black lawyers who represent the best of the American legal profession.

BLACK ENTERPRISE acknowledges many of today's top legal experts such as John Payton, the attorney whose work on this year's Michigan case upheld affirmative action, Johnnie L. Cochran Jr., who spent decades defending young black men in Los Angeles, and Willie Gary, who has won more than 150 cases valued in excess of $1 million each. "The number of black partners at major law firms has grown significantly, and the number of black in-house attorneys at many major corporations has more than doubled," reports Brown in the 15-page November feature. With each legal breakthrough, they and others prove that black legal professionals stand for excellence, and can benefit everyone as a nation.

America's top black lawyers include: Sharon R. Barner, Partner, Foley & Lardner, Johnnie L. Cochran Jr., The Cochran Firm, Willie Gary, Senior Partner, Gary, Williams, Parenti, et al, Elaine Jones, President and Director Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, John Payton, Partner, Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, Teresa Wynn Roseborough, Partner, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan L.L.P., Nina L. Shaw, Founding Partner, Del, Shaw, Moonves, et al, Dennis C. Sweet III, Partner, Langston, Sweet & Freese, Ted Wells, Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, et al, and Bart Williams, Partner, Munger, Tolles & Olson, L.L.P.

The complete attorney listing and methodology appears in November's BLACK ENTERPRISE, which hits newsstands on October 21.

Download this release plus additional news items and images at

BLACK ENTERPRISE, your ultimate guide to financial empowerment, is the premier business and investment resource for African Americans. Since 1970, BE has provided essential business information and advice to professionals, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and decision makers. The publication provides four million readers with monthly information on entrepreneurship, careers, and financial management. As the definitive source of information for and about African American business markets and leaders, BLACK ENTERPRISE is the authority for business news and trends. The magazine is published by Earl G. Graves Publishing Co.

CONTACT: Andrew Wadium of Earl G. Graves Publishing Co., +1-212-886-9598 or fax: +1-212-886-9557,

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 16, 2003
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