Carrying a Legacy of Excellence Since 1968
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 50 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 Florida Coastal School of Law 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.
The African-American experience has historically been fraught with exclusion and denial of meaningful participation in the positive aspects of American life. Unfortunately, the vestiges of racial discrimination have continued to manifest themselves in many of the institutions which affect the lives of the entire citizenry. The Daniel Webster Perkins Bar Association, Inc. was named after the great pioneer, D.W. Perkins, who was one of the first African-Americans to practice law in Duval County. Its mission and purpose continues to be that of a change agent to improve the plight of the African-American Community and to combat the effects of racial and social injustices.
The objectives of the Association shall be to advance the science of jurisprudence, improve the administration of justice, preserve the independence of the Judiciary of our cities, states and nation; to uphold the honor and integrity of the legal profession; to promote the professional and social interaction among the members of The Florida Bar, the American Bar, the international bars, and other voluntary bar associations; to promote legislation that will improve the economic condition of all American citizens regardless of race, sex or creed in their efforts to secure a free and untrammeled use of the franchise guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States; to protect civil and political rights of the citizens and the residents of the United States of America.