Written by: McKenna Stone Cloud
Volume 40, Issue 3, of the Mississippi College Law Review is dedicated to former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Fred L. Banks, Jr. This special Tribute Edition features articles and sentiments from Justice Banks’s colleagues, mentees, friends, family, and fans.
Please consider reading Volume 40 of the Mississippi College Law Review online. The Mississippi College Law Review Digital Commons provides online access to all publications. The Tribute Edition can be located here.
As the authors in this Edition highlight with great detail and care, Justice Banks is a trailblazer who has devoted his life to leaving this world better than he found it. For over five decades, he has been a pioneer for civil rights on both the state and national levels.
Justice Banks was born in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1942 and returned to his home state after earning his Juris Doctorate from Howard University School of Law in 1968. Throughout his colorful career, he has engaged in civil rights litigation during a turbulent period in Mississippi’s history, was elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives as one of the pioneer African American legislators, served as a circuit court trial judge and the second African American Justice on the Mississippi Supreme Court, has been actively involved with and led the NAACP, and much more. He is currently a senior partner in the Jackson office of Phelps Dunbar, where he counsels clients and continues to do pro bono work in civil rights cases. In 2021, Justice Banks received the Mississippi Bar’s Lifetime Achievement Award—an accolade that recognizes lawyers who have made significant contributions to the American justice system and the legal profession.
Volume 40 of the Review is proud to dedicate this Issue to Justice Fred L Banks, Jr. Hopefully, all who read will learn of the substantial impact he has made as an attorney, legislator, and judge, and the positive influence he has had as a friend, mentor, husband, and father.
The Tribute Edition features the following articles:
- Foreword, by the Honorable Denise Owens
- Fred L. Banks, JR. – A Man For All Seasons, by Dean Emeritus Jim Rosenblatt
- Fred Lee Banks, Jr., by the Honorable Michael P. Mills
- Banks Tribute, by the Honorable Chief Judge Debra Brown
- Notes of a Fan, by Rob McDuff
- Happy Warrior: Lessons Learned From Watching Fred L. Banks, Jr., by James W. Craig
- Judicial Law Clerks’ Tributes to a Mentor, by Cecilia C. Oyola & Ashanta Evans Blackwell
- Phelps Dunbar’s Dedications to Fred Banks, by the Honorable Reuben V. Anderson, Jim Shelson, Marshall Redmond, Tommy Siler, & LaToya C. Merritt