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Richard Bernstein

Posted: 10-Feb-2014 by Maccabi VIC

Richard H. Bernstein

American Lawyer and Lecturer

International Disability Rights Advocate

Richard Bernstein is a tireless disability advocate who juggles work as a pro bono attorney, University of Michigan adjunct professor, and is an avid marathon athlete. Blind since birth, his positive and spiritual take on life is simply inspirational.

Bernstein’s work as an attorney with The Sam Bernstein Law Firm in Farmington Hills, Michigan reflects his dedication to fighting for those without a voice and for those who otherwise cannot afford legal representation. He also co-hosts a radio show called “Fighting for Justice” with Pulitzer Prize winner, Angelo Henderson, on WCHB-AM (1200) in Metro Detroit.

Richard states, “…in terms of who I really I am, I really believe that everyone has a purpose, and I was created with a purpose to make life better for people with disabilities.”

Having taught a political science course in social activism at the University of Michigan, Richard is extremely active in the education arena. He served an eight-year term on the Board of Governors at Wayne State University, elected by voters state-wide, and served as Chair from 2009-2010. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Northwestern University School of Law.

Richard uses athletics as a metaphor for life while breaking down stereotypes. To date, he has completed 18 marathons – including seven New York City marathons, the Ironman triathlon in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho in 2008 and the Israman triathlon in Eilat, Israel in 2011. In 2012, Richard was selected as an inductee to the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, inducted in April 2013.

With this calibre of determination, it has lead him to be awarded, “Michiganian of the Year” by the Detroit News, one of Crain’s Detroit Business’ “40 Under 40”, 2008 John W. Cummiskey Pro Bono Award from the State Bar of Michigan and was selected by The Young Lawyers Section of the State Bar of Michigan as the 2003–2004 Regeana Myrick Outstanding Young Lawyer Award recipient for outstanding commitment to public service.

Furthermore, Richard was named a 2009 Leader in the Law by Michigan Lawyers Weekly and received the James T. Neubacher Award in 2011. He has been on worldwide television – recognised by CNN as a leader in keeping the US government honest.

Some of Bernstein’s latest casework includes a federal suit against the American Bar Association to put an end to its discriminatory practices toward blind students via requirement of the Law School Admissions Test and against the City of New York to make Central Park safer for its visitors and accessible for blind, disabled and visually impaired individuals.

Richard Bernstein will be touring on a speaking circuit in Melbourne from 12th – 21st March – and in Sydney from 21st – 26th March, 2014.


To find out more about Richard Bernstein,

please connect with him on Facebook

or view his ‘Running with Darkness’ video

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