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Attorney Lembhard G. Howell has been a shining star in the Pacific Northwest, handling a number of important civil rights and personal injury cases that helped shift history. The Jamaica-born, New York-raised Howell was born May 2,1936.

Howell and his family moved to the United States in 1946, and he was raised in New York City. He attended Lafayette University for undergrad, and then obtained a law degree from New York University after a stint in the Navy. In the late ‘60s, Howell took a job as a law clerk for the Washington State Supreme Court and blossomed from that point on.]

In 1969, Howell took part in a lawsuit case that ended racial segregation of Washington state construction unions, giving skilled Black workers job opportunities and unionization benefits. In 1979, he helped in a Supreme Court case that upheld affirmative action for Seattle Firefighters. In 1986, he was also instrumental in the Supreme Court decision to uphold affirmative action policies nationwide.

Howell is the first Black person to serve on the board of governors for the Association of Trial Lawyers, and was the first Black person elected to the Board of Governors for the Washington State Bar Association.


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