August 06, 2016

First African-American ABA president receives association’s highest honor

Dennis W. Archer, former ABA president, mayor of Detroit and justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, accepts the ABA Medal, the highest honor given by the association.  

ABA President Paulette Brown cited Archer’s many contributions to the legal profession. “As a practicing lawyer, state Supreme Court justice, mayor of Detroit, chairman of his firm and first African-American president of the ABA, Dennis Archer’s professional accomplishments are unparalleled, and he is held in the highest regard by his peers. On a personal level, Dennis has been a wise and encouraging mentor and role model to me and countless other diverse lawyers. He truly exemplifies the ‘conspicuous service to the cause of American jurisprudence’ the ABA Medal recognizes.”

Archer received the ABA Medal Aug. 6 during the General Assembly of the 2016 ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

The ABA Medal recognizes exceptionally distinguished service by a lawyer or lawyers to the cause of American jurisprudence and is given only in years when the ABA Board of Governors determines a nominee has provided exceptional and distinguished service to the law and the legal profession. Among previous recipients are legendary justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, including Oliver Wendell Holmes, Felix Frankfurter, Thurgood Marshall, William J. Brennan Jr. and Sandra Day O’Connor. Other recipients include Watergate Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski; human rights activist Father Robert Drinan; co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, William H. Gates Sr.; and prominent attorneys David Boies and Theodore Olson.