Section member Juan R. Thomas, founder of The Thomas Law Group in Aurora, Illinois, was elected President-Elect of the National Bar Association (NBA) in July 2016 during the Association’s 91st Annual Convention in St. Louis. He will take office as the 75th President of the NBA next summer during the NBA’s annual meeting in Toronto, Canada.
The National Bar Association is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of predominantly African-American legal professionals. It has 84 affiliate chapters throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Africa, and the Caribbean. The NBA represents a professional network of more than 65,000 lawyers, judges, educators, and law students.
During the 2015 bar year Thomas served as Vice-President of the NBA and previously served six years as National Secretary. He also chaired the NBA’s Law & Religion Section. Previously, he served as chair of the NBA Political Action Committee, vice-chair of the NBA Legislative Division, and co-chaired the NBA Day on the Hill Program during which lawyers meet with Members of Congress to advocate for the organization’s national legislative agenda. During the 2003–04 bar year, Thomas served as chair of the Young Lawyers Division of the NBA. That year, the Division received the NBA’s Outstanding Division of the Year Award.
Locally, Thomas serves as the General Counsel of the 100 Black Men of Chicago, Inc., and is the minister of the Men’s Ministry at St. John AME Church in Aurora, Illinois. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Mutual Ground Inc., the Cook County Bar Association, and the A+ Foundation for the West Aurora School District #129.
Thomas has served as chair of the Aurora Township Democratic Central Committee. He previously served as the Aurora Township Clerk becoming the first African-American to ever be elected to a township office in Aurora. He was also the youngest person ever elected to serve on the West Aurora School Board at the age of 25.