February 13, 2012
Being a Black Lawyer (OBABL) recently selected the 100 most
influential black attorneys in the United States. Professor Leonard
M. Baynes of St. John’s University’s School of Law has been named
to this inaugural list of exceptional lawyers.
OBABL will publish “The Power 100 Special Edition” on February
15th in honor of Black History Month. The publication will be
available online and will feature profiles of the nation’s most
influential black attorneys working in government, academics, and
both the public and private sectors.
Baynes, a nationally recognized communications law scholar,
specializing in race and media issues, is the Director of the
Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights and Economic development at
Professor Baynes has worked for former- Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) Chairman William E. Kennard as a
Scholar-in-Residence, where he served as a member of the
Opportunity Team and worked on minority access and ownership
issues. He has testified as an expert witness before the FCC
and in 2006, the Minority Media & Telecommunications Council
(MMTC) inducted Professor Baynes into its Hall of Fame.
On January 25, 2007, at the Vincentian Convocation, St. John’s
University recognized Professor Baynes’ service and accomplishments
with the prestigious President’s Medal.
Professor Baynes has also won numerous other awards, including an
SBA award for his service to the law school community, a St. Johns’
University teaching award, The Extraordinary Service Award for his
teaching, scholarship, and service by the Second National People of
Color Conference, and a John Jay College award for his involvement
in the creation of The Ronald H. Brown Summer Prep Program for
College Students. In 2010, Professor Baynes was also awarded the
Diversity Trailblazer Award by the New York Bar Association, and in
2011, Professor Baynes accepted the American Bar Association
Alexander Award on behalf of the Ronald H. Brown Law School Prep
Program for College Students, which was the first Law School-based
pipeline program to win this prestigious award.
OBABL’s editorial team, together with a group of advisers, spent
months researching prospective candidates. The selection committee
read trade publications, blogs, and critical reviews. A portion of
the candidates had appeared on past lists of influential lawyers.
For this group, the committee considered whether the candidate's
influence and relevance had increased since the time he or she was
last honored. In addition to naming the 100 most influential black
attorneys, the committee also included profiles of ten up and
coming black attorneys.
OBABL publisher, Yolanda Young notes that according to the
American Bar Association, less than 5% of U.S. attorneys are
African American and OBABL seeks to help advance diversity in the
On Being a Black Lawyer has been recognized by the American Bar
Association, National Black Law Students Association, and National
Association of Black Journalists. Founded in 2008 as a news and
resource center, the company has grown into a social media firm
providing research, career development, and brand marketing
opportunities to clients.
Read the Power 100 Special Edition at http://www.obabl.com/special-editions/
Honorees will be toasted at a cocktail reception at The
Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington, DC on February 29, 2012 from 6
P.M. to 8 P.M. Michelle Miller, CBS News correspondent, will serve
as Mistress of Ceremony. To cover the reception or request an
interview, please contact, Jamie Brathwaite at 202-756-1847.