State Bar of Arizona welcomes first black president after 90 years

Published: Jun. 16, 2023 at 6:46 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - For the first time in its 90-year history, the state bar of Arizona will have its first black president.

Benjamin Taylor was sworn in at the Catalina Foothills State Bar of Arizona convention. Taylor has been an attorney for 17 years. After participating in a bar leadership program, Taylor worked his way up the ranks and now holds the title of president.

“I never thought when I was a young attorney practicing law, I thought this was unachievable, that this was for other people,” Taylor said.

Taylor is a Tucson native. After attending Sahuaro High School, he majored in finance at ASU and then headed to the University of Arizona College of Law, earning his JD.

During his 17 years before becoming president, Taylor had served in the Pima County Attorney’s Office and the Arizona State Legislature.

His past cases have earned national attention. In 2018, Taylor represented Robert Johnson, a man who was beaten by police officers, and had all prior charges against Johnson dropped.

“We do a lot of high-profile cases in our law practice,” Taylor said. “By talking and listening to clients, this will help as board president by listening to my board, and listening to the community to see what they need from lawyers and judges in the community.”

Taylor’s new position holds much more significance to him. With Juneteenth in just three days, Taylor says his appointment means the world to his family, and he hopes to inspire other people of color to achieve great things too.

“This day actually means a lot to me because my family is actually from Texas, and that’s where the slaves found out they were free. Learning about Juneteenth growing up and then being the bar president is tremendous to me, and it is quite the honor.”

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