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Winners of the "2013 Nation's Best Advocates: 40 Lawyers Under 40" Honored at National Bar Association Jazz Brunch
7/28/2013 3:16:00 PM


WASHINGTON, D.C. - IMPACT and the National Bar Association (NBA) honored the "Nation's Best Advocates: 40 Lawyers Under 40" at a special awards gala on Saturday, July 27, 2013 during NBA’s 88th Annual Convention in Miami, Florida.

Nation’s Best Advocates recognizes talented individuals (age 40 and under) within the African American legal community who have achieved prominence and distinction, professionally and philanthropically. Selected nominees represent a cross-section of legal professionals: solo practitioners, government lawyers, judges, academicians, corporate counsels, young elected officials, and other lawyers using their degree in innovative ways. Nominees were chosen based on their achievement, innovation, vision, leadership, and legal community involvement.

"The NBA is proud to partner again with IMPACT for this year's 40 Lawyers Under 40 event. We applaud the awardees for their significant accomplishments and contributions towards the legal profession and community," said John Page, NBA President. "We look forward to honoring these awardees during our 88th Annual Convention in Miami and most importantly, we look forward to sustaining our mission of service and ensuring that justice is achieved by all."

"The 2013 Nation's Best Advocates: 40 Lawyers Under 40 are continuing the tradition of legal giants in American history," said IMPACT Director Angela Rye. "The invaluable contributions made by these attorneys establish a standard for service and excellence in our communities and our Nation."

The recipients of the Nation's Best Advocate of the Year, Excellence in Leadership, Service, Activism, and Innovation awards will be recognized at the event, which is the only of its kind. For more information, visit:

The winners included:

2013 Nation's Best Advocates: 40 Lawyers Under 40:

Barbara J. Walker, Associate, Parks & Crump, LLC
Breon C.M. Walker, Partner, Gallivan, White & Boyd, PA.
Candice S. Petty, Corporate Counsel, 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc.
Carlos Leach, Partner, Morgan and Morgan, PA
Cassandra Georges, Mediator & Arbitrator, Above and Beyond Dispute Resolution, LLC
Chigozie Onyema, Policy Analyst, Council of State Governments Justice Center
Craig A. A. Dixon, Assistant Vice President, Senior Counsel and Assistant Secretary, Smithfield Foods, Inc.
Dannelle F. Walker, General Counsel, Tennessee State Board of Education
Edward “Ted” James, II, State Representative, District 101, Louisiana House of Representatives
Ekumene M. Lysonge, Vice President, Legal Affairs, Churchill Downs Incorporated.
Evangeline M. Mitchell, Principal, Persistence of Vision LLC/Founder & Executive Director, National Black Pre-Law Conference and Law Fair
Harmon “Monty” Cooper, Associate, Sedgwick, LLP
JaDawnya Butler, Chief Senior Assistant District Attorney, Fulton County, GA
JaRai A. Williams, Appellate Defense Counsel, United States Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps
Jasmine Rand, Associate, Parks and Crump, LLC
Justin Fairfax, Justin Fairfax for Virginia
Kristal Lauren High , Editor and Chief Politic365
Lacy L. Durham, Tax Manager, Deloitte Tax, LLP
LaKeisha C. Marsh, Associate Vice President and Counsel, TCS Education System
Lashonda Council Rogers, Managing Attorney, Council & Associates, LLC
Lynnette D. Espy-Williams, Partner, Cozen O’Connor
Malaika Clements Billups, Associate, Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP
Marie E. Giraud, Associate, Morrison Mahoney
Michelle N. Lipkowitz, Partner, Saul Ewing, LLP
Monica D. Barnes, Assistant City Attorney, City of Miami Gardens, FL
Monique Liburd, Associate Trademark Counsel, Google Inc.
Nichole Francis Reynolds, Chief of Staff, Congresswoman Terri Sewell
Nicole Isaac, Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, The White House
Radiance Harris, Associate, DLA Piper
Rashida MacMurray-Abdullah, Core Forensic & Dispute Services Manager, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services
Reginald Roberts, Jr., Co-Managing Partner, Sanders Roberts, LLP
Rhonda Peoples-Waters, President/CEO, Rhonda Peoples-Waters-PA
Shontavia Jackson Johnson, Owner, Johnson International Group, Assistant Professor of Law, Drake University Law School
Tanya Bullock, Judge, Virginia Beach Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court
Tara D. Elliott, Principal, Fish & Richardson, PC
Tashinda Glover Richardson, Legal Assistance Counsel and Special Assistant US Attorney, US Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps
Valyncia Simmons, Partner, Baker Williams Matthiesen LLP
W. Dewayne Richardson, District Attorney, Fourth Judicial District of Mississippi
Wade Hinton, City Attorney, City of Chattanooga, Tennessee
Zulema Green, Regional Managing Attorney, Portfolio Recovery Associates

Additionally, IMPACT and the NBA honored five individuals with awards for Advocate of the Year, Excellence in Leadership, Activism, Innovation, and Service:

Advocate of the Year: Barbara J. Walker
Excellence in Leadership: Lynnette D. Espy-Williams
Excellence in Activism: Jasmine Rand
Excellence in Innovation: Monique Liburd
Excellence in Service: Malaika Clements Billups

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