The Paul C. Perkins Bar Association (PCPBA), founded in 1981, is a professional organization devoted to actively promoting the advancement of African Americans in the legal profession and diversity within leadership roles in the Central Florida community. PCPBA also strives to educate the Central Florida African American community about the legal system and promote reform and improvements in the law to aid in the administration of justice.
Our organization is named in honor and memory of Paul C. Perkins, Sr., who served the community of Central Florida as an advocate for civil rights and justice. Paul C. Perkins, Sr. was born on October 1, 1918 in Elizabeth City, NC. He served in the Army during World War II and attained the rank of captain. He attended undergraduate school at Shaw University, Raleigh, N.C., and graduated from Howard University Law School in Washington, D.C. Perkins was admitted to practice law in Florida in 1950. When he moved to Orlando in 1951, he became the second African American attorney to serve the area.
Early in his career, Perkins served as co-counsel with Thurgood Marshall and Jack Greenberg of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and defended the “Groveland Four,” four young African American young men wrongly accused of raping Norma Padgett, a white woman, in Groveland, FL in 1949.
Paul C. Perkins, Sr. was appointed to serve as the first African American City Prosecutor by Orlando Mayor Robert S. Carr in 1965. Perkins was also a lifetime member of the NAACP and served on interracial committees created in the 1950s and 1960s to help steer the Orlando community away from the separate public facilities for blacks and whites. Paul C. Perkins, Sr. passed away on July 4, 1985 at the age of 66.
In honor and memory of Paul C. Perkins, Sr., who served the community of Central Florida as an advocate for civil rights and justice, as well as a business man and philanthropist, the Orlando Chapter of National Bar Association was renamed as the “Paul C. Perkins Bar Association” in 1986.