The ABF fondly remembers the career and dedicated service of late Washington Benefactor Fellow and Federal Judge Jerome Farris. Judge Farris, who passed away in July 2020 at the age of 90, was a longstanding supporter and leader of the ABF Fellows. He led a historic career in law, becoming the first Black judge to serve on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Judge Farris earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Morehouse College in 1951, and a Juris Doctor degree in 1958 from the University of Washington School of Law. Farris opened his own law firm in Seattle before being appointed a judge of the Washington State Court of Appeals in 1969. In 1979, Farris was historically appointed to the federal appellate court by President Jimmy Carter. He was the first Black judge to hold the position.
Judge Farris became an ABF Fellow in 1989 and served on the ABF Board for two decades. He was national Chair of the Fellows from 2000-2001. Judge Farris continued to support the ABF Fellows throughout his career and into his retirement.
Leonard Gilbert, Florida Benefactor Fellow and partner at Holland and Knight, served in ABF Fellows leadership alongside Judge Farris. “I had the privilege of serving with Judge Farris as a national officer of the Fellows. He was a true champion of the Foundation, an honor to the profession, and a beloved friend. Judge Farris lived his life with purpose, passion, and enthusiasm. He enriched the lives of all who knew him.”
Read more about Judge Farris’ legacy here.