Michael L. Nelson, Sr.

Attorney Michael Leroy Nelson, Sr., spent his early years in Public Housing where his life was touched by tragedy at the early age when his biological father Leroy Nelson lost his life on the mean streets of the city.  His mother Gladys remarried and she and his stepfather, Osa Reid instilled in Michael and his younger brothers and sister (Marvin, Duane, and Marlene) a sense of community and family values.

Michael graduated from Cleveland’s Glenville High School in 1967, and immediately applied for and was accepted at Central State University.   During his years at Central State, Michael’s organizational skills and commitment to the black community were nurtured and developed.   His first real test of leadership occurred when he organized Central State students to campaign for Carl Stokes in his successful bid to become the first Black Mayor of a major American city. 

Upon graduation from Central State in 1972, Michael returned to Cleveland and joined the Cleveland Public Schools as a teacher.  His teaching career which spanned nine years also included stints in East Cleveland and Springfield, Ohio.  In 1974, he organized The Alliance of Concerned Teachers, which was dedicated to protecting the rights of African-American Teachers and students during the tumultuous days of school desegregation in Cleveland.

In 1986, Michael fulfilled a personal goal when he entered the Case Western Reserve University School of Law from which he graduated in 1989.  His practice areas include public finance, criminal and civil litigation and small business development.

Michael’s civic involvement was recognized by Ohio Governors George Voinovich and Bob Taft, who appointed him to successive stints on the Central State University Board of Trustees, and by Cleveland Mayors Michael White and Jane Campbell who appointed him to the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District and the Civil Service Commission of the City of Cleveland.

Michael has served as the President of the Central State University National Alumni Association, and as the founding President of the 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland, Inc.  Michael currently serves as President of the Cleveland Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. 

Michael’s honors include, The Thurgood Marshall Fund Alumnus of the Year, The Central State University Alumnus of the Year, and induction into The Central State University Alumni Achievement Hall of Fame.

Michael is the proud father of four children, Michael Jr., Nichole, Ebony and Rayne, and has four grandsons, two granddaughters and a great grandson. 

Michael is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, The Cleveland Chapter of the National Negro Golf Association and the Grace Community Seventh Day Adventist Church.


President's Message

Dear NSMBA Members, Partners, and Sponsors,

It is with great pleasure, pride and excitement that I begin my term as President of the Norman S. Minor Bar Association (NSMBA).

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The History of the Norman S. Minor Bar Association

The Norman S. Minor Bar Association (NSMBA) was founded in 1980 as Cleveland's first full-fledged African American bar association. It grew out of the merger of four African American professional groups and is named in honor of one of Cleveland's foremost trial attorneys, African American attorney Norman Selby Minor.

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2017 Joint Minority Bar Association Annual Holiday Party

NSMBA Newly Elected Officers - 2018 - 2020

The results are in!

NSMBA elected the following to the Executive Board for the 2018 - 2020 term.

President - Valissa Turner Howard
First Vice President - Brandon D. Cox
Second Vice President - Lon'Cherie' Billingsley
Treasurer - Lola Garcia Prignitz
Membership Secretary - Ludgy LaRochelle
Recorder - Donna Marjean Davis Reddix

Thanks to Karrie Howard for serving the Bar Association as Recorder for the last two years. Your wonderful ideas and humor will truly be missed!

Also, special thanks to our Community Partner of the Year - Tucker Ellis - for hosting our General Body Meeting and Elections!

If you have any ideas or would like to lead an initiative please reach out to someone on the Executive board! We are looking forward to an exciting and productive two years!