Barbara Arnwine, Esq.
executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Barbara R. Arnwine has served as the executive director of the  Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law since 1989. Born in southern California, Ms. Arnwine is a graduate of Scripps College and  Duke University School of Law.


Ms. Arnwine is renowned for her work on the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1991. In 1995, she served as the National Convener of the National Conference on African American Women and the Law and led a delegation to the NGO Forum and Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. Her involvement contributed to a United Nations  Platform for Action that provides protection for women against multiple forms of discrimination. In 2001, Ms. Arnwine helped draft provisions of the program for action for the UN World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, and Xenophobia in Durban, South Africa. She is a leader of Election Protection (EP), the nation’s largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition, launched in 2004 to assist historically disenfranchised persons to exercise the fundamental right to vote.


Ms. Arnwine has received numerous awards, including the National Bar Association’s Gertrude E. Rush Award and the National Black Law Students Association’s Sadie T.M. Alexander Award in 2011, the Washington D.C. Freedom’s Sisters Award and the Keeper of the Flame Award from the Boston Lawyers’ Committee in 2009, the Rockwood Institute Leadership Fellowship in 2008, the National Bar Association’s Equal Justice Award and the C. Francis Stradford Award in 2007, and the Charlotte E. Ray Award from the Greater Washington Area Chapter, Women Lawyers Division of the National Bar Association in 2002. She was one among five recipients of the 2011 Gruber Prize for Justice.

Frequenting the conference circuit, Ms. Arnwine also writes numerous articles and is regularly featured by media outlets such as the American Bar Association’s Human Rights Magazine, The New York Times, The Washington Post, BET, TV One, and other national and local media.