HARRISBURG (Feb. 19, 2014) - Philadelphia lawyer Nolan N. Atkinson Jr. will be honored with the A. Leon Higginbotham Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award during the 26th Annual Pennsylvania Bar Association Minority Attorney Conference, "Navigating Through Turbulent Tides." The conference takes place April 10 and 11 at the Lancaster Marriott and Convention Center, Lancaster.
Atkinson, a partner at the Philadelphia office of Duane Morris LLP and chief diversity officer for the firm, will receive the award at an April 11 luncheon.
The A. Leon Higginbotham Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes the accomplishments of a lawyer or judge who has demonstrated dedication to the legal profession and the minority community through civil, community or legal service. Higginbotham, who died in 1998, was a civic leader, author, academic and federal appeals court judge who fought tirelessly against racial discrimination.
Atkinson is a member of Duane Morris' trial practice group. Since 2007, Atkinson has served as the firm's first chief diversity officer, leading the development and implementation of its program to increase recruitment of and success for diverse lawyers throughout the firm, both nationally and internationally. He also is chair of the firm's Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
Atkinson was a founder of the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group Inc., a consortium of law firms and corporations seeking to increase ethnic and racial diversity at Philadelphia's larger law firms. He served as its chair from 2001 to 2006.
Atkinson served as a co-chair of the Conference of Minority Partners in Majority Corporate Law Firms, a constituent entity of the American Bar Association's Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession.
Atkinson is a frequent lecturer and author on the topic of increasing diversity in the legal profession.
He has taught trial advocacy at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law.
Prior to joining Duane Morris, Atkinson was a partner at Atkinson & Archie PC and Zack, Myers & Atkinson, both in Philadelphia.
Atkinson holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Howard University School of Law and Boston University.
In addition to the award presentation to Atkinson, the April 11 luncheon will include a keynote address from Sara Manzano-Diaz, regional administrator, U.S. General Services Administration, Mid-Atlantic region.
The two-day PBA Minority Attorney Conference also will feature speakers and panel discussions offering perspectives on leadership, social media and ethics, new immigration benefits, education, voting rights and the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
The conference, which is being organized and hosted by the PBA Minority Bar Committee, will offer up to 9.5 CLE credits (8.5 hours of substantive and one hour of ethics).
For more information about the conference and the award presentation, visit the PBA website at http://www.pabar.org or contact the PBA Member Service Center at 800-932-0311.
Founded in 1895, the Pennsylvania Bar Association strives to promote justice, professional excellence and respect for the law; improve public understanding of the legal system; facilitate access to legal services; and serve the 27,000 lawyers who are members of the association.