Karol Corbin Walker Receives Cora T. Walker Award

Karol Corbin Walker, a shareholder based in the national law firm LeClairRyan’s Newark office, has been named as the recipient of the 2016 Cora T. Walker Award presented by the National Bar Association Commercial Law Section.  The award was presented at the Association’s 29th Annual Commercial Law Section Corporate Counsel Conference at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The prestigious Cora T. Walker award was created by the National Bar Association Commercial Law Section in honor of Ms. Cora T. Walker.  Cora Walker was a revered attorney who broke racial ground when, in 1947, she became one of the first black women to practice law in the state of New York. After managing a private practice in Harlem for decades and until her retirement in 1999, Cora Walker was a senior partner at Walker & Bailey, one of New York City’s few black law firms with corporate clients including Ford Motor Company and Texas Instruments. Notwithstanding her large corporate clients and accolades, Cora Walker continued to provide legal services to people of her Harlem community.

A highly skilled litigator with an active practice in New Jersey and New York, Karol Corbin Walker was the first African American woman to attain partner status at any major New Jersey law firm.  In 2003, the Morris County resident became the first African American President in the then 105-year history of the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA).  She served as president for the 2003-2004 term, taking her oath of office before a record number of attendees.  In 1998 she was the first African American appointed as Chair of the NJSBA’s prestigious Judicial and Prosecutorial Appointments Committee.  Karol Corbin Walker served as the first African American female president of the National Council of Bar Presidents for the 2012-2013 term.  Additionally, in June 2015 she became the first African American President of the Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey.  Karol Corbin Walker has been recognized for her legal acumen in The Best Lawyers in America, Law & Politics and New Jersey Monthly magazines.

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