Arkansas Court of Appeals Judge Wendell L. Griffen will be the keynote speaker at Pulaski Technical College's annual Black History banquet on Friday, Feb. 27.
The banquet begins at 6 p.m. in the college's Campus Center Grand Hall, located on the main campus at 3000 West Scenic Drive, North Little Rock.
Tickets cost $12 per person and can be purchased by contacting Dianne Butler at (501) 812-2284 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Judge Griffen is a graduate of the University of Arkansas School of Law where he was president of the Black Law Student Association and was a member and associate editor of the Arkansas Law Review. In 1979, he was awarded the first Silas Hunt Memorial Justice Award in memory of Silas Hunt, the first black law student admitted to an institution of higher education below the Mason Dixon line.
After graduating, Griffen joined the Little Rock law firm of Wright, Lindsey & Jennings, becoming the first lawyer of color to join a major Arkansas law firm. He practiced business and tort litigation and was admitted to the partnership in 1984, becoming the first lawyer of color admitted to the partnership of a major Arkansas law firm.
In 1985, Governor Bill Clinton appointed Griffen chairman of the Arkansas Workers' Compensation Commission. Griffen served in that position until 1987 and then returned to his law practice with Wright, Lindsey & Jennings. Governor Jim Guy Tucker later appointed Judge Griffen to the Court of Appeals in December 1995, and Griffen entered judicial service on Jan. 1, 1996.
Griffen is a member of the American, National and Arkansas Bar Associations. He has served as president (1998-99) of the Pulaski County Bar Association, and he was a charter board member of the Volunteer Organization for Central Arkansas Legal Services (VOCALS.)