HARRISBURG (March 9, 2015) — Pittsburgh lawyer Carl G. Cooper will be honored with the A. Leon Higginbotham Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award during the 27th Annual Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Minority Attorney Conference, "Criminalization of Justice: The New Civil Rights Frontier." The conference takes place April 9 and 10 at the Omni William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh
Cooper, who launched a Pittsburgh-based diversity consulting firm in 2007, will receive the award at an April 10 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.
As a management consultant, Cooper works with law firms' management committees and other firm personnel to design and implement an agenda that promotes, achieves and maintains a diverse workplace. He also works with disparate groups within law firms to ensure that the interests and perspectives of all partners and employees are considered in firm decisions.
Cooper's career includes serving as a city attorney in Benton Harbor, Michigan, Teaching Fellow at Harvard Law School, assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, deputy executive director for educational programs at the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, associate professor at the City University of New York School of Law at Queens College, managing partner of Eaton and McClellan in Pittsburgh, attorney with Joseph Williams, Attorney at Law, manager and director of the Real Estate Department of the Urban Redevelopment Authority in Pittsburgh, general counsel for the Pittsburgh Housing Authority and chief diversity offer at Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis.
Cooper's professional and civic affiliations have included membership in the PBA, Allegheny County Bar Association, Homer S. Brown Law Association, National Bar Association, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and Hispanic Bar Association. He has served in the PBA House of Delegates, on the Allegheny County Bar Foundation Board of Trustees and on the boards of A.G. Edwards, Negro Educational Emergency Drive, Rivers Club and Greater Pittsburgh Diversity Festival.
Cooper served as chair of the Manchester Academic Charter School Board of Trustees. He was a volunteer teacher for the school's social studies program, and he implemented a program that teaches students the logistics of entrepreneurship.
Cooper is a past chair of the PBA Minority Bar Committee and PBA Membership Committee and is a past PBA Governor at Large.
In 2006, Cooper received a PBA Special Achievement Award for his service of chair for the PBA Leadership Diversity Task Force, which was charged with making recommendations to enhance geographic, gender and racial diversity in PBA leadership.
Cooper holds an undergraduate degree from Central State University in Ohio and a law degree from Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C.
In addition to the award presentation to Cooper, the April 10 luncheon will include a keynote address from Reginald T. Shuford, executive director, American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania.
The two-day PBA Minority Attorney Conference also will feature speakers and panel discussions during these sessions: "Grand Juries: How the Reasonableness Standard Protects Police and Preys on Racial Tensions," "The Ethical Guide for Attorneys Using Social Media," "Injustice in the Workplace: The Unwarranted Stigmatization of Employees," "Navigating the Intersection of Criminal and Immigration Law: Post Padilla v. Kentucky," "Militarization of Law Enforcement," and "Call it a Comeback?: The Return of the Debtor's Prison."
The conference, which is being organized and hosted by the PBA Minority Bar Committee, will offer up to 9.5 CLE credits, including 1.5 in 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.