Barristers’ Ball: DJ Envy Set to Headline Detroit’s ‘Best Party with a Purpose’

The Barristers’ Ball is much more than just a social gathering—it’s a celebration of Black legal professionals’ achievements, it’s a platform for networking and mentorship, and it’s an opportunity to support important causes. With its blend of glamour, camaraderie, and philanthropy, the Barristers’ Ball is a cherished tradition in the legal world, and in Detroit, it’s lovingly referred to as the city’s best “party with a purpose.”

This year, in its 62nd annual edition, the ball on Saturday, April 20, will bring together more than 1,500 leaders from the legal, business, education, civic, and political communities to celebrate the best of the Southeastern Michigan Community. It also will raise money for the breadth of services that the Wolverine Bar Association and the Wolverine Bar Foundation have to offer.

DJ Envy, from the nationally syndicated The Breakfast Club show, will headline a night of grandeur, as guests dress to impress, sporting their best tuxedos and their finest ball gowns. Envy won’t be the only entertainment, though, as the theme for the evening will be “Motown: Back Down Memory Lane.”

In partnership with Motown Museum, this year’s theme celebrates and restores, for one night, that fabled entertainment and business district of old Detroit. The ball will begin with a Motown style paparazzi red carpet experience, followed by the President’s Reception, with a silent auction display. Powered by Hennessy and Moet, networking, flavorful hors d’oeuvres, and signature Motown-themed cocktails will be flowing plentifully.

“We’ve sold out of all of our tables for the ball, but we haven’t sold out tables this early in quite some time. We’re probably going to have record numbers this year, and with this being our only fundraising event for the year, that’s really important in our effort to expand the level of services that we offer to the community,” said Alexis Smith-Scott, board director for the Wolverine Bar Association and the current chair of the 2024 Barristers Ball. “This is an exciting year in partnership with Motown, and we’re really going to activate that theme of Motown. We’re doing three special cocktails with Berry Gordy, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder cocktails. From the moment you walk into the space, you’ll be able to fill the spirit of Motown.”

Smith-Scott said the fundraising goal for the event this year is $250,000, but noted that as the association’s only fundraiser, the money raised pays for all of the organization’s events for the fiscal year, including student externships, internships, scholarships, education courses, and mentoring, as well as legal information and representation for the underrepresented.

The event will be held on April 20 at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center from 9 p.m. – 1 a.m. with an afterglow from 1-3 a.m. Tickets are $175 for members and $200 for non-members and can be purchased at No reservations will be held at the door and no tickets will be mailed.

“We know that there are critical legislative matters that are important to people of color and black lawyers and black representation matters, so we want to make sure we’re able to financially support in that regard,” said Smith-Scott. “One thing we all know about Detroit is that when we show up, we show up. I’m really looking forward to all the Motown fashion and seeing beautiful people all under a concerted effort of providing legal services and opportunities for people in southeastern Michigan.”

The Wolverine Bar Association is an active affiliate of the National Bar Association and was established by a number of Black attorneys during the 1930s. It was organized to coordinate the energies and talents of the increasing number of African Americans admitted to practice throughout Michigan. From its inception, the Wolverine Bar Association assumed a leadership role in community and political activities. The role continues to be paramount in its endeavors today.


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