Chair’s Message

2021-2022 Chair Hon. Monte Watkins

"A Strong Judiciary - A Guiding Light of the Community"

    As we enter into the second half-century of the Judicial Council of the National Bar Association, we look forward to continuing the strong leadership of the judiciary and providing a guiding light to the community that we serve. Being the second generation of African American jurists, we will persist in upholding our principles, be mentors to those who enter the profession, and direct those who seek to follow in our paths.


    It is critical to our future, that the judiciary remains independent. We must continue to remind all that come before us that justice must be equal for all.  As we make progress in cracking open the doors of diversity on the bench, I would be remiss,  if I did not remind us all that we are not there yet.   We continue to stand on the shoulders of not only the giants who preceded us, but the family members, friends, teachers, and other inspiring individuals who led us to our places in society. To those who helped us, we are honored and grateful for their assistance and we will not allow others to stand in our way of seeking justice and fairness to all who appear before us.  Moreover, our responsibility to our aforementioned supporters requires us to reach behind us and on our side to ensure that we all are elevated and the space that we claim as ours matters.


    The members of the Judicial Council will continue to carry on the dedicated work of the Council and the National Bar Association during this current year as well as the years that follow. Let us continue to foster collegiality amongst us, provide assistance to law students, and further the enhancement of our judiciary.


“Mere access to the courthouse doors does not by itself assure a proper functioning of the adversary process.”

                                                                                        ---Justice Thurgood Marshall


       “It’s all right to tell a man to lift himself by his own bootstraps, but it is cruel just to say to a bootless man that he ought to lift himself by his own bootstraps.”

                                            ― Martin Luther King Jr.


Committed to Serve,

Hon. Monte Watkins

51st Chair of the Judicial Council Division of the National Bar Association