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U of M Law Professor Lee Harris is Named One of the Nation’s Top Black Lawyers

For release: February 15, 2012
For press information, contact Curt Guenther, 901/678-2843

Lee Harris
Lee Harris

On Being a Black Lawyer (OBABL) has named Lee Harris, professor of law at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, as one of the 100 most influential black lawyers in the United States.

Harris and the other honorees will be recognized at a cocktail reception at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington, D.C., on February 29.

OBABL has also published The Power 100 Special Edition. The publication, available online at, feature profiles of the nation’s most influential black lawyers working in government, academics, and the public and private sectors.

An associate professor, Harris has been a member of the U of M faculty since 2005, teaching contracts, corporations, and mergers & acquisitions.  He also writes about the various ways investors influence a firm. His work has been presented at the Stanford/Yale Junior Faculty Forum and featured in prominent media such as The Economist.

Harris has held visiting appointments at the George Washington School of Law in Washington, D.C., and the Grenoble Ecole de Management in France. He has also held teaching fellowships in the Economics Department at Yale University and at Yale Law School.

Before joining the Memphis faculty, Harris worked at the Baker Donelson firm in Memphis.

Harris earned his B.A. degree at Atlanta’s Morehouse College and his law degree from Yale Law School.  He has also been a visiting student at the London School of Economics.

He is involved in many civic and political activities. He was one of the first Memphis-area members of United Campus Workers of America. He currently holds a seat on the City Council of Memphis, his hometown.

He is the immediate past president of the Memphis and Shelby County Young Democrats and for a number of years was a volunteer ‘Big Sib’ in Big Brothers/Big Sisters.  He is a member of the Frayser Exchange Club.

Harris is a director of Goodwill Homes Community Services Agency, a nonprofit organization that administers several community programs for seniors and children.  He has also served as chairman of one of Memphis’ only pre-kindergarten programs for lower-income families; in that capacity, he oversaw an almost-million-dollar budget from Shelby County government.

Harris’s wife, Alena Allen, is also on the faculty of the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.

OBABL publisher, Yolanda Young, noted that according to the American Bar Association, less than 5% of U.S. lawyers are African-American. OBABL seeks to help advance diversity in the legal profession.

On Being a Black Lawyer was founded in 2008 as a news and resource center.  The company has since grown into a social media firm providing research, career development, and brand marketing opportunities to clients.

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