Morehouse College alumnus Juan R. Thomas ’92 is leading the nation’s oldest and largest bar association of mostly African American lawyers and judges.
The Chicago attorney was recently installed as president of The National Bar Association (NBA) earlier this month during the organization’s 92nd convention in Toronto. Thomas succeeds Kevin Judd, a bankruptcy attorney from Washington, D.C.
The NBA was founded in 1925 and represents some 60,000 lawyers, judges, law professors, and law students worldwide.
Thomas is a nationally acclaimed attorney. He is Of Counsel at the Chicago law firm of Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A. in Chicago. He is also the founder and principal of The Thomas Law Group in Aurora, Ill.
Thomas’ tenure comes as the United States faces a changing political landscape and a raft of legal challenges. Voter suppression, police misconduct, loss of civil rights, and overall erosion of rules of law have made it necessary for groups like the NBA to “step up and present solutions,” Thomas said.
As the NBA’s 75th president, Thomas will reignite a commitment to civil rights and social justice, he told NBA members in July, during the group’s annual convention. “An American poet ( Lawrence Ferlinghetti) once said, ‘Pity the nation and the people who allow their rights to erode, and their freedoms to be washed away.’ The NBA is the bulwark against that erosion.”
Thomas practices real estate/estate planning, labor and employment, and family law. He also provides counseling and training to clients in personnel, collective bargaining, and business development.
He was named to The National Black Lawyers’ list of Top 100 Trial Lawyers, an honor given to a select group of lawyers for their superior skills and qualifications.
Before starting The Thomas Law Group in 2003, Thomas was involved in political and governmental affairs. He served as the legislative liaison for Citizen Action, Illinois.
Prior to being the NBA’s new president, Thomas has served as national vice-president and secretary of the organization.
Thomas earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Morehouse. He received his Juris Doctor and a master’s degree in educational policy studies from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.