Maisha Huggins-Blakeney is an Attorney at Davidson Fink, LLP. She practices in the firm’s default servicing department, where she concentrates her practice on real estate, foreclosure, litigation and loss mitigation. Prior to joining Davidson Fink, Maisha worked for a Western New York civil defense law firm handling insurance defense, automobile accident claims, premises liability claims, wrongful death claims, medical misconduct claims, nursing home abuse and misconduct claims, employment discrimination claims and breach of contract matters in addition to working for a firm that handled plaintiff personal injury matters. Maisha also serves on the Board of Directors for the Erie County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyer’s Project (VLP) and is a member of the VLP’s Say Yes Legal Task Force. Maisha also serves as an Eighth District Co-Representative for the NYSBA Young Lawyers Section, Executive Committee.
Tolu Odunsi is an Attorney at the law firm of Gibson McAskill & Crosby, LLP in Buffalo, New York. She practices in the area of civil litigation including, employment law, automobile product liability defense, insurance defense, class actions and defense of health care facilities. Tolu also assists with hiring at her firm by developing strategies to identify and recruit highly qualified and diverse candidates for the firm’s summer law clerk program. She also serves as summer law clerk mentor. Tolu also serves on the Board of Directors for the Center for Elder Law and Justice and is a member of the Board’s development and diversity committees.
Joel C. Moore is Assistant Legal Counsel for the Buffalo Public Schools District. In his current position he represents the District in labor employment matters with a focus on personnel disciplinary cases. Joel earned his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Howard University in 2003, and his MBA from Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Management in 2007. Joel graduated from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law with a Juris Doctor in 2010. He was formally an Assistant United State Attorney in the Western District of New York, and an Assistant Corporation Counsel with the City of Buffalo.
Recording SecretaryRichard J. Morrisroe focuses his law practice in the areas of civil, criminal and family trial work, as well as real estate matters and municipal law. Morrisroe is City Attorney for the City of Dunkirk and also in private practice as the Law Office of Richard J. Morrisroe with offices in Buffalo and Dunkirk. He was formerly Managing Partner of Morrisroe Hebert LLP. Prior to law school, Richard worked as a banker, public school teacher, executive director of a community development corporation, a Realtor, a drug prevention specialist and a legislative aide for the Buffalo Common Council. Over the past year he did a stint as Executive Director of the City of Buffalo’s Commission on Citizens’ Rights & Community Relations as well but recently returned to practicing law.
The Minority Bar Association of WNY is a non-for-profit organization comprised of over one hundred members who are from diverse ethnic backgrounds that represent the varying races, cultures and beliefs in Western New York. Our membership consists of attorneys, public officials, academia, law students and legal professionals who work or live in the Western New York area.
- Blacks, Latinos, Asian Americans and Native Americans who are law firm partners 7%
- Minorities who are general counsels of large corporations 9%
- African Americans who are partners in large law firms 2%
- Women of Color who are law firm partners 1.7%
The purpose of the Minority Bar Association of WNY is to facilitate and advance equality and excellence in the legal profession; aid in the progress of minorities in the legal profession, address legal issues affecting minorities, encourage the personal and professional development of lawyers and students, advocate for the civil rights of all people and to enhance the legal services available to minority communities. To this end, our objectives are to improve the integrity and standards of professionalism in the legal community; increase the level of diversity in the Bar, elevate the public’s confidence in the judicial system and the administration of justice, promote and encourage diversity in the judiciary and in the court system, and encourage the promise of equality and fairness for all under law. It is also our goal to convey a better understanding and awareness of the experiences of minorities in the legal profession in order to improve upon and advance the benefits of diversity. We hope that you will join us and help to promote these goals.
Our members are the driving force behind our success. We hope that you will add to our continued success by becoming a member and by participating in projects and events through committee membership.