Biography of Bernie Brown
Bernie E. Brown was born in the southern town of Guthrie, Oklahoma. His family moved to Los Angeles, where Bernie grew up as a child. While attending junior high school, Bernie was recognized for his academic achievements and was placed in the College Capable Program. At a young age, Bernie started a car wash business at the local gas station and also worked daily after school as a janitor.
Bernie began his college education at Los Angeles City College, where he acquired an Associate of Arts Degree in Speech. In 1972, at the Statewide Intercollegiate Speech Competition, Bernie finished in the top three speakers in the California State Persuasive Speaking Competition after delivering a stunning speech on nuclear disarmament, and he qualified for the National Intercollegiate Competition. Unfortunately, personal financial constraints prevented Bernie from attending and competing in the National Speech Competition, but it did not stop his perseverance and thirst to become a lawyer. In 1973, he was accepted at the University of California at Los Angeles. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from UCLA in just three years.
In 1976, Bernie was admitted to Hastings College of the Law. At Hastings, he served as Senior Class Student Body Representative. He also served as the Student Body Representative on the Hastings Faculty Standing Committee on Disadvantaged Students and the Hastings Faculty Standing Committee on Academic Standards and Policies. While serving on the Academic Standards Committee, Bernie assisted in writing a new admissions program that was ultimately adopted and is largely still in existence today.
After graduating from Hastings, Bernie acquired a judicial clerkship, serving as a research attorney for the Honorable James R. Dooley, United States Bankruptcy Judge. There he assisted Judge Dooley in writing approximately a dozen published opinions, none of which were reversed on appeal. After a few years in private practice as a bankruptcy attorney, Bernie joined the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office Central Trials Branch in 1988, where he prosecuted dozens of jury trials with a 90% conviction rate. Within three years after joining the Office, Bernie was appointed to the position of Assistant Supervisor of the Central Criminal Branch. He remained in that position for eight years. He was then appointed as the Supervising Attorney for the San Pedro Criminal Branch, where he served for nine years. From there he was appointed as the Supervising Attorney for the Pacific Criminal Branch. After serving in that capacity for two years, he was appointed as the Supervising Attorney for the Central Criminal Branch. He served as the Supervisor of the Central Branch for five years. He was then appointed as the Supervising Attorney for the Metropolitan Criminal Branch, and he recently retired as an Assistant City Attorney with twenty-nine years of service. Bernie is recognized for having conducted several MCLE Accredited inhouse training programs and for having coached and directed hundreds of attorneys in thousands of trials. He also gained notoriety for creation of the Central Trials Important Cases Directory, which is regularly used by attorneys throughout the City Attorney’s Office. Additionally, Bernie co-authored a Search & Seizure Brief Bank and created a Central Trials Trial Practice Video. He is a former President of the Association of Black City Attorneys, where he is recognized for having convened a group of lawyers and bar passage experts to analyze the minority Bar passage rate. Based on these meetings, Bernie authored “A Guide to Successful Bar Passage,” which remains in distribution as a resource tool to assist law students preparing to take the California State Bar.
In 1994, Bernie served as Chair of the California State Bar Committee on Ethnic Minority Relations, where he emphasized minority Bar passage, networking, and the creation of an expanded mailing list, seeking to include all minority attorneys in the State of California.
Bernie has a long history of involvement with the John M. Langston Bar Association. He has served in a variety of functions including: Sergeant At Arms, Recording Secretary, Vice-President and President. Some of Bernie’s most notable contributions to Langston include participation in the Langston Career Day Program and production of the first Langston Bar Association Bar Review Video. In addition to his Langston activities, Bernie volunteered many hours speaking to primary and secondary students in the inner city schools at career day programs and provided pro bono legal services at the First A.M.E. Legal Clinic.
Bernie is married to the Honorable Judge Gloria L. White-Brown, and they have two beautiful children, Deputy District Attorney Noelle Celene Brown and Dr. Blake Cue Brown. Bernie is a former marathon runner, a mountain hiker and serves as a speech trainer and judge for his church youth speech program.