National Bar Association


June 9, 2016

2016 National Bar Association “40 Under 40” Award Recipients Announced

The National Bar Association (“NBA”) has announced the 2016 recipients of its “40 Under 40 Nation’s Best Advocates” awards. The awards recognize the nation’s top lawyers under the age 40 who exemplify a broad range of high achievement in the legal field, including in advocacy, innovation, vision, leadership and overall legal and community involvement.

“In the last few years, we have seen more and more demands on lawyers to help lead the way in seeking social justice and economic advancement. Each one of our 40 Under 40 recipients brings something special to the practice of law and this group puts on display the bright future of our profession. On behalf of an organization with a wide array of great leaders, I am proud to give them the recognition they deserve as they will continue to make the legal field and our communities a bastion of hope and activism, said Benjamin Crump, president of the National Bar Association. This year, the NBA has also planned a special Reunion Weekend for all previous recipients of the 40 Under 40 Awards and we look forward to adding this exceptional 2016-2017 Class to the NBA’s already distinguished 40 Under 40 alumni.”

According to Aubrey “Nick” Pittman, Chair of the 40 Under 40 Awards, a selection panel that included former NBA presidents and other key individuals was convened for the rigorous job of reviewing hundreds of outstanding nominees and narrowing the list to the 40 individuals who will receive the prestigious awards. The recipients will be honored at the National Bar Association’s renowned 40 Under 40 Awards Gala on Monday, July 18, 2016, during the NBA’s 91st Annual Convention in St. Louis, MO.

The final selections represent a cross-section of legal professionals, including lawyers from big, medium and small firms, solo and industry practitioners, government lawyers, judges, academicians, corporate counsels, young elected officials, and various other lawyers, all of whom are using their juris doctor degree in innovative and community impacting ways. During the Black-tie Awards Gala, recipients of the Nation's Best Advocate of the Year and the Excellence in Leadership, Service, Activism, and Innovation awards will also be announced.

For more information on the Award Recipients, the Awards Gala, or Sponsorship Opportunities,
please contact Aubrey “Nick” Pittman at

2016 NBA Nation's Best Advocates: 40 Lawyers Under 40

1. Raheemah Abdulaleem, Executive Office of the President, Office of Administration
2. Justin Bailey, International Paper
3. Alexis Carter, Judge Advocate General Corps (JAG)
4. Adrieannette Ciccone, McNamara, Ney, Beatty, Slattery, Borges & Ambacher LLP
5. Otanya Clark, Clarke Law LLC
6. Jami Coleman, Viera Williams P.A.
7. Kanika Corley, Sedgwick LLP
8. Khyla Craine, NAACP
9. Jocelyn Cuttino, Morgan Lewis & Brockius
10. Amanda Edwards, Houston City Council Member
11. Antoinette Ellison, Kilpatrick, Townsend & Stockton LLP
12. Terrance Evans, Duane Morris LLP
13. Shimica Gaskins, United States Department of Justice
14. LaDray Gilbert, The Gilbert Firm, P.A.
15. Kevin Gooch, Alston & Bird LLP
16. Verleana Green, Law Offices of Verleana D. Green
17. Anthony Grice, Husch Blackwell LLP
18. Jasmyne Henderson, Pittman Law Group
19. Sean Jamieson, Cheniere Energy, Inc.
20. Terry Johnson, Morgan Lewis & Brockius
21. Kimberly Jones, Council for Opportunity in Education
22. Shawndra Jones, Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider LLP
23. Jillian Joseph, TIAA
24. Deborah Kemi Martin, Dechert LLP
25. Kafi Kennedy-Swanson, The KDKS Law Firm, P.A.
26. LaTanya Langley, BIC International
27. Ronnie Mabra, Georgia General Assembly; The Mabra Firm LLC
28. Yavonna Morris, Hyundai Motor America
29. Erin Nowell, Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett, PC
30. Makesha Patterson, Google Inc.
31. James Perez, U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia
32. Dartesia Pitts, Cook County Board of Review
33. Julius Redd, Beveridge & Diamond, P.C.
34. Damario Solomon-Simmons, Riggs, Abney, Neal, Turpen, Orbinson and Lewis
35. Yolanda Strader, Carlton Fields
36. Raychelle Tasher, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Missouri
37. Jana Taylor, Radio One, Inc.
38. Yodit Tewolde, The Law Office of Yodit Tewolde PLLC
39. William Trach, Latham & Watkins LLP
40. Kahlil Yearwood, Dechert LLP

Contact: Aubrey “Nick” Pittman, Chair
Phone: 202-842-3900


The National Bar Association was founded in 1925 and is the nation's oldest and largest national network of predominantly African-American attorneys and judges. It represents the interests of more than 60,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and law students. The NBA is organized around 23 substantive law sections, 9 divisions, 12 regions and 80 affiliate chapters throughout the United States and around the world. For more information, visit:
Benjamin L. Crump
Tallahassee, FL
Kevin D. Judd
Washington, DC
Carlos E. Moore
Vice President
Grenada, MS
Charles G. Byrd, Jr.
Vice President
Baltimore, MD
Joseph Drayton
Vice President
New York, NY
Juan R. Thomas
Vice President
Aurora, IL
Jonathan E. Richardson
Nashville, TN
Michael A. Thompson
Vallejo, CA
Joseph Hairston
Washington, DC
Jean-Marie Sylla
General Counsel
Washington, DC
Keith Andrew Perry
Executive Director
Washington, DC
Copyright © 2016 National Bar Association, All rights reserved.

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