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Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. Bar Association

Cultivating Excellence & Inclusion in the Legal Profession

A Rich Legacy


In 1977, The Black Lawyers Association was founded by a group of lawyers who realized that barriers to full inclusion into the legal community in Miami-Dade County could only be overcome through a collective effort. Lawyers such as Harold Fields, George Knox, Harold Long, Jesse McCrary, Ralph Person, Clinton Pitts and H.T. Smith were the visionaries who brought this dream to life. H.T. Smith served as the first President of The Black Lawyers Association for three (3) years and was succeeded by our first woman President, Joyce Knox.

Since that time, 34 other Black lawyers have served as the Association’s President, and The Black Lawyers Association has had a significant impact on the legal, civic and political landscape of Miami-Dade County. In addition, The Black Lawyers Association has provided financial assistance and mentoring to a large number of law and undergraduate students. It has implemented mentoring programs with elementary and junior high school students and oratorical contests for high school students.

In September 2003, The Black Lawyers Association formally changed its name to The Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. Bar Association. The name change was in recognition of the outstanding contributions Judge Ferguson made to our community. Today, the Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. Bar Association remains committed to the ideal of equal access, equal opportunity and equal justice in the legal system.


Harold Fields

George Knox

Harold Long

Jesse McCrary

Ralph Person

Clinton Pitts

H.T. Smith


H.T. Smith 1977-1980

Veronica Harrell-James 2002-2003

Joyce Knox 1980-1981

Hon. Shirlyon McWhorter 2003

Eddie Fields 1981-1982

Kenneth E. Walton, II 2003-2004

Charles C. Mays 1982-1983

Walter J. Harvey 2004-2005

Marilynn Koonce Lindsey 1983-1984

Muslima Lewis 2005-2006

Vincent P. McGhee 1984-1985

Roderick D. Vereen 2006-2007

David C. Self 1985-1986

Christina A. McKinnon 2007-2008

Larry R. Handfield 1986-1989

Michele Samaroo 2008-2009

William C. Robinson 1989-1990

Christopher E. Benjamin 2009-2010

Deborah S. Rose 1990-1991

Jennifer D. Ellis 2010-2011

Gregory A. Samms 1991-1993

Nicole M. Ellis 2011-2012

Harry C. Wallace, Jr. 1993-1995

Noel F. Johnson 2012-2013

Richard O. Dansoh 1995-1996

Yolanda P. Strader 2013-2014

Rayfield M. McGhee 1996-1997

Leigh-Ann Buchanan 2014-2015

Reginald J. Clyne 1997-1999

Joycelyn Brown 2015-2016

Cynthia A. Everett   1999-2000

Ian G. Ward, II 2016-2017

Jason M. Murray 2000-2001

Trelvis D. Randolph 2017-2018

Marc A. Douthit 2001-2002

Monique D. Hayes 2018-2019

Our Mission

The purpose and mission of the Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. Bar Association is to:

Articulate and promote the goals and objectives of Black lawyers in Miami-Dade County;
Foster and encourage professional excellence;
Promote a greater awareness of and commitment to the civil and political rights of the local Black community;
Influence positive change in the American legal community to make it more responsive to Black lawyers and to the local and national Black communities;
Increase the enrollment of Black law students;
Promote the general welfare of all citizens in Miami-Dade County; and
Uphold the honor and integrity of the legal professional, both on the local and national level.
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