Black Lawyers

Jewel Lafontant-Mankarious was a Chicago lawyer who achieved a number of firsts as a woman and African-American in her field. Among her achievements, Lafontant-Mankarious was the first Black woman to graduate from the University of Chicago Law School and was also the first Black Deputy Solicitor General. Born Jewel Carter Stradford on April 28, 1922 […]

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — John Walker, an Arkansas lawmaker and civil rights attorney who represented black students in a long-running court fight over the desegregation of Little Rock area schools, has died. He was 82. The Pulaski County coroner said Walker died at his Little Rock home Monday morning but the cause of death […]

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 […]

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate panel on Thursday narrowly backed the nomination of a North Carolina attorney to fill the nation’s longest judicial vacancy over the objections of Democrats, black lawmakers and some civil rights groups. The Judiciary Committee voted 11-9 to recommend the nomination of Thomas Farr to the full Senate. If confirmed, he’ll […]

Constance Baker Motley made history in several ways in her legal career, but her most notable achievement took place on this day in 1966. Baker Motley was confirmed as a U.S. District Court judge by President Lyndon B. Johnson, making her the first Black women to be federally appointed to the federal bench. Born Constance […]

Aramis Ayala was elected Florida’s first Black state attorney last November, and has been making headlines this year with her bold stance against capital punishment. Ayala says she will not seek the death penalty in capital matters, which has ignited a battle with Florida Governor Rick Scott. Ayala, a native of Saginaw, Michigan, attended school […]

William T. Coleman was a pioneering legal figure who argued major cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in defense of civil rights. The longtime lawyer and former director of the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Education Fund died last Friday at his Alexandria, Va. Home. He was the oldest living former U.S. Cabinet member. […]

The NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund is the first civil and human rights law firm, established in 1940 by late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. The early seeds of the LDF can be traced to the year before when prominent Black attorney Charles Hamilton Houston helped bolster the NAACP’s legal department. Houston, a former vice-dean and dean […]

  Charles Ogletree has enjoyed an incredible career as an attorney, professor, media personality and champion of civil rights. Along with his several accomplishments on the academic and legal front, Ogletree was instrumental in providing an educational foundation for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Charles James Ogletree Jr. was born December 31, […]

  Rhonda Wils, one of the stars of We’s new legal docuseries, Sisters In Law, that follows a group of black female lawyers in Houston, fighting not only to help their clients out of jail, but to keep their 10 year friendship in tact. “Katrina Pearson, Donald Trump’s national spokesperson, has been a reoccurring character […]

  Earlier this month, Darcel D. Clark was sworn in as the Bronx District Attorney making history at the same time. Clark is the first Black female District Attorney in the history of New York State, fulfilling a dream she had as a little girl growing up in the borough she now presides over. Clark, […]