Friday, February 13, 2009
John M. Langston Bar Association Elects Youngest President Ever
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The John M. Langston Bar Association, which bills itself has the oldest minority bar association in California, has elected its youngest president ever.
Beverly Hills attorney Jamon R. Hicks, 28, said yesterday that he was “very, very humbled by the opportunity,” and maintained that he was ready to lead the organization, which represents over 1,000 African-American attorneys in southern California.
Although he confessed “at first I thought [my age] was something I was going to have to overcome,” he suggested “my youth helps me, because I can run around and do a lot more since I’m not married and I don’t have kids or anything.”
Hicks said that becoming president of the organization was “a goal of mine to do eventually,” but the opportunity “came much sooner than anyone anticipated” as the organization became concerned about its survival as its membership aged.
“We’re on a push to get more people,” Hicks said. “We’re trying to get a lot of law students involved since they’re the pipeline for the future.”
Among his other goals for his term, Hicks said he wants to increase alliances with other minority bar associations, increase diversity in law schools and on the bench, and engage in outreach projects to serve as “legal translators for the community” on issues such as economic stimulus plans or foreclosures.
“They’re pretty lofty goals,” Hicks admitted, “but we can get the ball rolling.”
The organization has “a very good board with a lot of young energy, and I think that energy becomes contagious,” he opined. “We’ve been getting a great response.”
Hicks earned his bachelor’s degree from U.C. Berkley, majoring in English and African-American Studies, and then attended Loyola Law School.
As a student, Hicks was a member of the Bryne Trial Advocacy Team, where he was a National Finalist in the Tournament of Champions, and Regional Champion for the Texas Young Lawyers Tournament.
He also served as a judicial extern for U.S. District Court Judge Gary Klausner of the Central District of California and as Western Regional Director of the National Black Law Student’s Association.
Currently an associate at the Law Offices of Carl E. Douglas, Hicks is the head coach of the Byrne Trial Advocacy Team, and a member of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.
The Langston Bar Association installed him as president at its annual awards gala at the Wilshire Grand Hotel on Saturday.
Honorees that evening included Brian Dunn of the Cochran Law Firm as Trial Lawyer of the Year, Michael Lawson of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom as Attorney of the Year, and Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ellen DeShazer as Judge of the Year.
The Langston Bar Association is named after the first African American to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. It was originally founded as a law club in response to other bar associations’ policy of excluding African Americans as members, and declared itself a bar association in the mid-1960s.
Copyright 2009, Metropolitan News Company