The Napier-Looby Bar Association (“NLBA”)

Originally established as the James C. Napier Lawyers Association, the Napier-Looby Bar Association (“NLBA”) was founded in 1933 to serve many functions in the African American and the legal communities. African American lawyers have always had a significant presence in the Nashville community, from leading the community through the Civils Rights Era and segregation (Z. Alexander Looby) to the only person in Tennessee history to serve on all levels of the state judiciary (Justice A. A. Birch). In 1978, the organization was reconstituted, and its name changed to the Napier-Looby Bar Association, in memory of Z. Alexander Looby.


Today, the Napier-Looby Bar Association (NLBA) is composed of more than 100 judges, lawyers, legal support staff, and law students of different races and nationalities in Metro Nashville Davidson County and surrounding counties. In 2001, the NLBA authorized the formation of The Napier-Looby Bar Foundation, Inc. (NLBF). Each year, NLBF hosts a scholarship and awards ceremony honoring local law students and legal legends, trailblazers, and community leaders.


The Napier-Looby Bar Association is an affiliate chapter of the Tennessee Alliance for Black Lawyers, the statewide Black bar association, and the National Bar Association, the oldest and largest association of attorneys of color in the world. Founded in 1925, the NBA is currently headquartered in Washington, D.C. The association has 88 affiliate chapters and represents over 20,000 lawyers.

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