Frederick K. Brewington has been awarded the New York State Bar Association’s 2017 Haywood Burns Memorial Award. The award was given by the Association’s Committee on Civil Rights at a reception June 13 at the City University of New York School of Law.
“As a civil rights lawyer, Fred has spent his career providing a voice to the oppressed,” said Cheryl Smith Fisher, who co-chairs the Committee on Civil Rights with Matthew W. Alpern. “He is a fearless, determined advocate who continually empowers the powerless when fighting injustice.”
Brewington’s firm, the Law Offices of Frederick K. Brewington (Hempstead, Long Island), is the largest African-American-owned law firm on Long Island. His practice focuses on civil rights, voting rights, employment discrimination and police misconduct issues.
Among his most notable accomplishments, Brewington led the legal challenge to the Town of Huntington's at-large voting system, creating a more equitable district voting system for African- American and other minority residents.
He also served as co-counsel in a housing discrimination lawsuit against the Village of Garden City. A New York federal district court ruled that the village, an exclusively white suburb, violated the law by intentionally keeping out minorities and low-income households, after rejecting plans to construct affordable housing.
Brewington is an adjunct professor at Touro College, Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center. He has served as president of the Alumni Association of SUNY Albany and remains a member of its Council of Classes. Providing his services pro bono, Brewington advises many community groups and organizations.
The Haywood Burns Memorial Award recognizes an outstanding advocate for civil rights and is given to honor the late civil rights lawyer and academic, Dean W. Haywood Burns. From the age of 15 until his death at age 55 while visiting South Africa, the former head of the City University of New York School of Law was active in seeking to expand the civil rights of all people.
The 72,000-member New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. It was founded in 1876.Contact: Christian Nolan