Minority Bar

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The mission of the Minority Bar Committee of the Pennsylvania Bar Association (hereinafter PBA) is to assure full and equal participation of minorities in the PBA, the legal profession, and the justice system in general. In order to achieve this mission, the Minority Bar Committee will:

  • Identify and promote opportunities that allow minorities within the legal profession to participate fully in the work, responsibilities, and rewards of the PBA and the legal profession in general. Included in this objective are matters relating to the advancement of minorities within law firms and other professional and business entities, job opportunities for minorities, elimination of racial discrimination in the legal profession and within the broader community, and effective avenues for minority lawyers and judges to avail themselves of opportunities within the PBA to address issues of special interest to minority lawyers.
  • Monitor the current status of minorities in the legal profession and the justice system in general, identify their career paths and goals, and actively promote their advancement and achievement.
  • Develop educational programs in the way of seminars and surveys, among other measures, to address discrimination against minorities within the legal profession, and the justice system in general.
  • Make recommendations to the PBA Board of Governors and House of Delegates for action on issues affecting minorities within the legal profession and the justice system in general.
  • Make recommendations to the judicial, legislative, and executive branches of government, and other groups within the justice system on issues affecting racial minorities and their communities in accordance with the PBA Bylaws.

Featured Member: Verdell Dean

Verdell opened Verdell Dean and Associates, P.C. in November, 1982, forty years ago. During her early years she was a general practitioner and served clients in various legal areas, including personal injury, criminal, domestic relations, landlord/tenant, employment discrimination, unemployment, workman’s compensation, bankruptcy, probate, and probation and parole. Since 1999, Verdell has specialized in the areas of domestic relations, landlord/tenant, and probate law.

Prior to establishing her practice, Verdell worked as a law clerk for the late Honorable Henry R. Smith, Jr., and as an Allegheny County Public Defender. Governor Milton Shapp appointed her to the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, where she served for 71/2 years. Verdell taught legal writing for the University of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Program. Verdell received a Master of Education in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Pittsburgh in 1970 and a Juris Doctor from the School of Law in 1974. Verdell is admitted to practice before the Third Circuit and the United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan.

She worked as an EEOC case analyst, Pittsburgh Residential Manpower Center counselor, and for various other organizations including the Vocational Rehabilitation Center, Neighborhood Legal Services, and as a Juvenile Probation Officer.

Verdell is a current member of the Allegheny County Bar Association where she formerly served on the 1986 Bench Bar Committee, Special Fee Determination Committee, Ethics Committee and was a former Trustee of the Criminal Trial Lawyers Committee. Verdell currently serves on the Women in the Law Committee, the Homer S. Brown Law Division, the Family Law Committee, Pittsburgh Black Lawyers Alliance (PBLA), and the Pennsylvania Bar Association. She is the co-chair for the PBA Western Minority Law Day sub-committee.

A fun fact about Verdell is that she owns and operates a John Deere riding lawnmower which allows her to landscape and garden on her own and in style.

Past Featured Members

Samuel G. Encarnacion

Judge Carolyn H. Nichols

Jasmine Butler

Tsiwen Law

Kristine L. Calalang

Tyesha C. Miley

Jada Greenhowe

Obinna I. Abara

Morgan M. Bonekovic

Jacqueline B. Martinez

J. Lynette Carter

LaToya Winfield Bellamy

Arlene Marshall-Hockensmith

Su Ming Yeh

Anthony D. Cox Jr.

Trent Hargrove

Judge Cheryl Lynne Austin

Philip Yoon

Gina M. Thomas

Nigel Scott

Judge Stephanie Domitrovich

Ana Paulina Gomez

Judge Nicola Henry Taylor