The Passing of David Brink, Former ABA President and Lawyer Assistance Advocate

Former ABA President David Brink has passed away at 97. By all accounts, Brink was a leader in and outside the legal profession. Brink served as president of the ABA in 1981-1982, president of the Minnesota State Bar Association in 1978-79, and president of the Hennepin County Bar Association in 1967-68. He was a trusts and estates lawyer for Dorsey and Whitney for more than 40 years. During WWII, Brink worked as a code breaker for the U.S. Navy. He was a longtime poet and writing teacher.

Brink is also recognized and remembered for his advocacy on behalf of lawyer assistance programs and members of the legal community facing substance use and mental health issues. He helped create the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs, served on its Advisory Committee and served as a board member of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers (LCL) in Minnesota.

John W. Clark, Jr., a former chair of CoLAP, shared the following statement about Brink’s passing:

“The recovery community, especially CoLAP, has lost one of its own, a leader in our community and a leader in the world around us. I knew David “then” and “now.” It should be no secret that David opened a lot of doors for CoLAP…doors within the ABA and doors directly linked to our lives. As President of the ABA, David led our profession into a generation of immense change. As a member of CoLAP, he allowed our profession to witness recovery, demonstrating both eloquence and good humor. David was human, but David was blessed. He will be missed by many who never knew him.”

Learn more about David Brink’s life and achievements in:

Statement of ABA President Linda A. Klein Re: The passing of former ABA president David Brink (ABA News)

Minnesota Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers Tribute

Former ABA president and WWII veteran David Brink dies at 97 (ABA Journal)

Past ABA president, Dorsey partner David Brink dies (Minnesota Lawyer, submitted by the Dorsey law firm)

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