During Turner’s tenure as president, the National Bar Association and its members provided several forms of assistance to Hurricane Katrina victims including pro-bono legal services, volunteer support to relief agencies and participation in a legal clinic for Katrina evacuees.
On the African continent, Turner led a 35-member delegation to Ethiopia in June, to strengthen ties to the Ethiopian Bar Association and learn more about the court system and legal framework implemented under the 1994 constitution. During the visit, Turner and his group met with Ethiopian lawyers and judges to discuss the justice system. They also attended seminars and lectures from the United States Ambassador to Ethiopia and organizations such as the World Trade Organization, the United States Agency for International Development and the Ethiopian Bar Association.
The Ethiopia visit directly connected with one of the NBA’s primary goals: “to advance professional opportunities for lawyers of color in the United States and around the world.”
In Michigan, as NBA president, Turner was actively involved in the affirmative action debate being waged throughout the state. And on the national level, Turner was instrumental in raising awareness of declining African American law school enrollment. As a result, the National Bar Association has provided recommendations and is working with the American Bar Association in an effort to reverse the trend.
Turner is succeeded as president by Linnes Finney Jr., who was sworn in as the NBA’s 64th president during the recent national convention. Finney, a partner in the national law firm of Gary, Williams, Parenti, Finney, Lewis, McManus, Watson & Sperando, said he plans to continue many of the national projects started by his predecessors, such as the Hurricane Katrina Task Force and the Election Protection Program.
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