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History of the Birmingham Bar Association

In 1825, four lawyers were practicing in Jefferson County.  The first courthouse of Jefferson County was located in a log hut about one mile east of present downtown Birmingham.  In 1821, the courthouse was relocated in Elyton.  It remained there until 1873 when Birmingham became the county seat of Jefferson County. 

Nineteen attorneys met at the courthouse on April 9, 1885, for the purpose of adopting a Constitution for the "government of the Birmingham Bar Association" and to "elect officers to fill the offices prescribed by said constitution."  On that date, John P. Tillman was elected President, R.H. Pearson, Vice President, and O.W. Underwood was elected Secretary- Treasurer.  The first Executive Committee elected was W.A. Walker, Jr., E.J. Taliaferro, and R.T. Lowe. On April 15, 1885, they incorporated the Birmingham Bar Association.

The nineteen lawyers who adopted that Constitution in 1885 could not have anticipated the numerous social and legal changes which would affect the profession of the learned practice of law.  While times have indeed changed in the 125 plus years since the adoption of this Constitution, its purposes have remained the same.  As stated in Article II of the Declaration of 1885: "The object and purposes of the said Society are the social and literary advancement of its members - especially their advancement in the profession to which they belong."  

Today the Birmingham Bar Association has nearly 4,000 members, facilitates numerous continuing legal education programs, including an annual Bench-Bar conference, publishes a forty page quarterly bulletin, provides a web site for members and the public, and offers numerous social events and activities for its membership.


Contact Us

Birmingham Bar Association
2021 2nd Avenue North
Birmingham, Alabama 35203

Phone: 205-251-8006