Attorney Fred Banks receives top award

JANS – Jackson attorney Fred L. Banks, Jr., has been recognized again for his years of service in the field of law. He received the prestigious American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the 5th Circuit in May.

“Mr. Banks’ success in civil rights litigation in Mississippi was certainly a product of his immense legal talent but even more so because of the dignity, civility, and consummate professionalism he exemplified during these most challenging of circumstances,” was noted as the award was presented to him by Chief Judge Carl E. Stewart.

The American Inns of Court Circuit Professionalism Awards are awarded on a federal judicial circuit basis to a lawyer or judge whose life and practice display sterling character and unquestioned integrity, coupled with ongoing dedication to the highest standards of the legal profession and the rule of law. Banks is a senior partner in the firm of Phelps Dunbar, LLP, in Jackson, Mississippi; he has been affiliated with the firm since 2001. Prior to transitioning to private practice, Banks was a justice on the Mississippi Supreme Court from 1991-2001, serving as presiding justice in 2000-2001. He has also served as a circuit judge on the Seventh Circuit Court District of Mississippi.

Banks has served on the national board of directors of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People since 1982. From 1976 to 1985, Banks served as a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives; his involvement included terms as Chairman of the Ethics Committee (1980-1984) and of the Judiciary Committee (1984-85). He was a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1976 and 1980. Banks earned his bachelor’s and J.D. degrees from Howard University in Washington, DC, where he was associate editor of the Law Review. Upon graduating from law school, Banks represented the NAACP Legal Defense Fund for 17 years as an advocate for civil rights in Mississippi.

Banks is a member of the Charles Clark American Inn of Court, which he served as president from 1991 to 1993. He and his wife Pamela have three children and reside in Jackson, MS. The American Inns of Court, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, fosters excellence in professionalism, ethics, civility, and legal skills. The organization’s membership includes more than 30,000 federal, state, and local judges; lawyers; law professors; and law students in more than 360 chapters nationwide and more than 97,000 alumni members. More information is available at