Originally formed in Seattle in 1968 as the Loren Miller Bar Club, and officially renamed as the Loren Miller Bar Association in 1997, LMBA is at its core a civil rights organization, focused on addressing the issues of race, and social and economic disparities that affect the African-American community. LMBA was named after Loren Miller, the famed civil rights attorney who successfully argued Shelley v. Kramer, 334 U.S. 1 (1948).
LMBA is a statewide organization and local affiliate of the National Bar Association (“NBA”), which is the oldest minority bar and the largest organization of African-American attorneys in the United States. Formed in 1925, the NBA was created when the American Bar Association ("ABA") was racially segregated and did not allow African-Americans to join. Although the ABA changed its policy several decades later, the NBA and its affiliates continue to address the legal issues and social, economic disparities that are unique to the African-American community.
The NBA’s purpose is the advancement of the social and economic well-being of its largely African-American membership; improving relations between the legal profession and the community at large; promoting understanding, goodwill and cooperation among lawyers and the interests of the legal profession; aiding in reforms for the economic and social welfare of all people in a manner consistent with the principles of a free democratic society; and improving the educational, social and economic status of the African-American community to eliminate discrimination.
The Loren Miller Bar Association's history reflects the birth, growth, maturation and success of the African-American legal community, and its commitment to access to justice, within the State of Washington.