An expert in immigration naturalization, civil and human rights, and historical consulting and lecturing, Abdullah Salim, JD, Esq. (Reginald A. Hawkins Jr.), practices via the eponymous Abdullah Salim Law Offices, a firm located in Maryland. When he isn’t practicing law, Mr. Salim serves as a ship captain for Historic Tours of America. His family’s deeply rooted history in social justice and civil rights stems all the way back to his grandmother, an indigenous American who served as an influence in Mr. Salim’s life. His father, Reginald A. Hawkins, was the first African American to run for governor of North Carolina. Though his bid was unsuccessful — as was his second attempt at the office — Mr. Hawkins dedicated his efforts toward desegregation and equal rights up until his death in 2007. With ingrained memories of cruel injustices targeting his relatives, in particular the 1965 bombing of the family residence, Mr. Salim revels at the opportunity of fighting prejudice and helping the destitute of the United States. Today, he loves seeing the joy on people’s faces when they become citizens of the “free world,” knowing he played a key role in helping them realize a dream coveted by so many in the world.
Mr. Salim earned a Bachelor of Arts in ancient history and linguistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1970. He completed postgraduate coursework in African history at Howard University from 1970 to 1971, and some additional coursework at the University of Maryland in 1976. Mr. Salim had no intentions of practicing law; he just wanted to receive a doctorate degree and felt that law school would pave the quickest road for him. However, while pursuing a Juris Doctorate at the George Mason University School of Law, he discovered his passion for civil rights and found that he was good at practicing law. He also enjoyed learning all of the different ways of jurying around the world. Thus, after receiving a JD in 1981 and being admitted to practice within the state of Maryland in 1983, he remained in the field of law — also incorporating his history degree into his practice. In addition, Mr. Salim is admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. Notably, his legal mentor was Attorney Julius L. Chambers, who was known for arguing significant civil rights cases that came out of North Carolina, such as Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education.
Over the span of 50 years, Mr. Salim has worked in a variety of roles for various companies across different industries, including Crawford & Company, D.C. Barwood Cabs, Associates IV Theaters, Aetna Life & Casualty (Aetna), Pride Inc., and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. From 1970 to 1971, Mr. Salim served as a teacher for the District of Columbia Public Schools. Mr. Salim also worked as a history consultant with Abdullah Salim & Associates from 1983 to 2014.
Mr. Salim exercises his passion for his profession through a multitude of affiliations. He has established relationships with the American Association for Justice, ABA, the alumni associations of George Mason University and the University of North Carolina, the International Platform Association, the Maryland Trial Lawyers Association, the National Bar Association, and the American Society of International Law. Dedicated to the welfare of his community, he is also a civil rights coordinator for the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary’s Fifth District. Since 2009, he has served as a Flotilla Commander for the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary. Furthermore, he is often called on to speak before nonprofit organizations. Since 2011, Mr. Salim has served as a licensed master captain for the U.S. Coast Guard. He is a certified boat crew member, instructor and vessel examiner.
Recognized for his hard work and activism, Mr. Salim has received a bevy of awards and accolades. Most recently, he was the recipient of the Outstanding Leadership Award from the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary.
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