American civil rights lawyers

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  1. Barack Obama

    Barack Obama


    Barack Hussein Obama II (bəˈrɑːk hˈsn ɵˈbɑːmə, born August 4, 1961) is the 44th and current President of the United States, and the first African American to hold the office. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he served as president of the Harvard Law Review. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. He served three terms representing the 13th District in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004, running unsuccessfully for the United States House of Representatives in 2000.

  2. Cate Edwards

    Cate Edwards


    Catharine Elizabeth "Cate" Edwards (born March 4, 1982) is an American attorney. She is the daughter of former Senator (D-NC) John Edwards and Elizabeth Edwards. She gave eulogies after her brother Wade's death and after her mother Elizabeth's death. She frequently spoke for the family during her mother's final days and upon her death, and was widely admired as the public face of the family during these events.

  3. Thurgood Marshall

    Thurgood Marshall


    Thurgood Marshall (July 2, 1908 – January 24, 1993) was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, serving from October 1967 until October 1991. Marshall was the Court's 96th justice and its first African-American justice.

  4. Fred Phelps

    Fred Phelps


    Fred Waldron Phelps, Sr. (November 13, 1929 – March 19, 2014) was an American pastor who headed the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC), an independent Baptist church based in Topeka, Kansas. Phelps attained notoriety primarily from his vehemently anti-gay activism and his picketing of funerals of homosexuals and soldiers.

  5. Florynce Kennedy

    Florynce Kennedy


    Florynce Rae "Flo" Kennedy (February 11, 1916 – December 21, 2000), was an American lawyer, activist, civil rights advocate, and feminist.

  6. William Kunstler

    William Kunstler


    William Moses Kunstler (July 7, 1919 – September 4, 1995) was an American self-described "radical lawyer" and civil rights activist, known for his politically unpopular clients. Kunstler was an active member of the National Lawyers Guild, a board member of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the co-founder of the Law Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the "leading gathering place for radical lawyers in the country".

  7. Deval Patrick

    Deval Patrick


    Deval Laurdine Patrick (born July 31, 1956) is an American politician and civil rights lawyer who served as the 71st Governor of Massachusetts from 2007 to 2015. A member of the Democratic Party, Patrick served as the United States Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division under President Bill Clinton. He was first elected in 2006, succeeding Mitt Romney who chose not to run, and re-elected in 2010. He is the first (and, currently, the only) African-American to have served as Governor of Massachusetts.

  8. Cecil B. Moore

    Cecil B. Moore


    Cecil Bassett Moore (April 2, 1915 – February 13, 1979) was a Philadelphia lawyer, civil rights activist who led the fight to integrate Girard College, president of the local NAACP, and member of Philadelphia's City Council.

  9. Moorfield Storey

    Moorfield Storey


    Moorfield Storey (March 19, 1845 – October 24, 1929) was an American lawyer, publicist, and civil rights leader. According to Storey's biographer, William B. Hixson, Jr., he had a worldview that embodied "pacifism, anti-imperialism, and racial egalitarianism fully as much as it did laissez-faire and moral tone in government." Storey served as the inaugural president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), a position he held from 1909 to 1929.

  10. A. P. Tureaud

    A. P. Tureaud


    Alexander Pierre Tureaud, Sr., known as A. P. Tureaud (February 26, 1899 – January 22, 1972), was the attorney for the New Orleans chapter of the NAACP during the civil rights movement. With the assistance of Thurgood Marshall and Robert Carter from the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, A. P. Tureaud filed the lawsuit that successfully ended the system of Jim Crow segregation in New Orleans. That case paved the way for integrating the first two elementary schools in the Deep South.

  11. David S. Tatel

    David S. Tatel


    David S. Tatel (born March 16, 1942) is an American jurist who has been a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit since 1994.

  12. Carlos Cadena

    Carlos Cadena


    Carlos C. Cadena (1917–2001) was a Mexican American lawyer, civil rights activist and judge based in San Antonio, Texas.

  13. Ted Berry

    Ted Berry


    Theodore M. Berry (November 5, 1905 – October 15, 2000), an American politician of the Charter Party of Cincinnati, Ohio, was the first African-American mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio.

  14. J.L. Chestnut

    J.L. Chestnut


    J. L. Chestnut (December 16, 1930 – September 30, 2008) was an author, attorney, and a figure in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. He was the first African-American attorney in Selma, Alabama, and the author of the autobiographical book, Black in Selma, which chronicles the history of the Selma Voting Rights Movement, including the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches and Bloody Sunday. The New York Times review of Chestnut's autobiography says that "As the paradoxical "nigger lawyer," Mr. Chestnut was in a privileged position to see into the souls of white folk."

  15. Henry Schwarzschild

    Henry Schwarzschild


    Henry Schwarzschild (November 2, 1925 – June 1, 1996) was an activist for civil rights and human rights. He was a fighter for the American Civil Rights Movement and later on became involved in the fight against capital punishment. He founded the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (NCADP), Lawyer's Constitutional Defense Committee, and headed up the American Civil Liberties Union's Capital Punishment Project.

  16. Paul Igasaki

    Paul Igasaki


    Paul M. Igasaki (born 1955) is the Chair and Chief Judge of the Administrative Review Board at the U.S. Department of Labor. Previously he was the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Equal Justice Works, a national organization that advances public interest law through fellowships, loan repayment programs, pro bono programs, conferences and other methods. Prior to joining Equal Justice Works, he was executive director of the Rights Working Group, a unique nationwide coalition of groups and individuals committed to ensuring liberty and justice for all.

  17. Tom Rapp

    Tom Rapp


    Thomas Dale "Tom" Rapp (born 8 March 1947, Bottineau, North Dakota) is an American singer and songwriter, best known as the leader of Pearls Before Swine, the psychedelic folk rock group of the 1960s and 1970s. More recently he has practiced as a lawyer.

  18. Percy Sutton

    Percy Sutton


    Percy Ellis Sutton (November 24, 1920 – December 26, 2009) was a prominent black American political and business leader. A civil-rights activist and lawyer, he was also a Freedom Rider and the legal representative for Malcolm X. He was the highest-ranking African-American elected official in New York City when he was Manhattan borough president from 1966 to 1977, the longest tenure at that position. He later became an entrepreneur whose investments included the New York Amsterdam News and the Apollo Theater in Harlem.

  19. Fred Gray

    Fred Gray


    Fred Gray is a composer of video game music. Among his works on Commodore 64 are Shadowfire, Mutants, Madballs and Enigma Force. On the Amiga he made the music for games such as Black Lamp, Eco, Stargoose and Victory Road.

  20. Alan Isaacman

    Alan Isaacman


    Alan L. Isaacman (born July 12, 1942 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) is an American lawyer primarily famous for serving as attorney for publisher Larry Flynt. His past clients also include Geraldo Rivera, Kathy Griffin, Rock Hudson and CBS, Inc. He lives in Beverly Hills, California.

  21. Raymond A. Brown

    Raymond A. Brown


    Raymond A. Brown (1915 – October 9, 2009) was an American criminal defense lawyer who represented a wide variety of high-profile clients, ranging from politicians to accused spies, including New Jersey state senator Angelo Errichetti (convicted in the Abscam case), boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter and "Dr. X" physician Mario Jascalevich.

  22. Julian Soshnick

    Julian Soshnick


    Julian Soshnick was born on August 17, 1932 in Brooklyn, NY. Born and raised there, Soshnick graduated from high school in Manhattan at age 16. He then attended and graduated Brandeis University and the Boston University School of Law. Drafted in 1957 and shipped out to Germany, he served four years as an officer in the U.S. Army's Judge Advocate General's Corps

  23. Norma V. Cantu

    Norma V. Cantu


    Norma V. Cantú (born November 2, 1954) is an American civil rights lawyer and educator. She is currently a professor of both its law and education at the University of Texas at Austin. She served as the Assistant Secretary of Education for the Office for Civil Rights under President Bill Clinton and as regional counsel for the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF).

  24. Dale Minami

    Dale Minami


    Dale Minami (born October 13, 1946) is a San Francisco-based lawyer best known for heading the legal team that overturned the conviction of Fred Korematsu, whose defiance of the World War II Japanese American internment order lead to Korematsu v. United States, one of the most controversial United States Supreme Court decisions of the 20th century.

  25. Albert Blaustein

    Albert Blaustein


    Albert Paul Blaustein (October 12, 1921 – 1994) was an American Civil Rights and human rights lawyer and expert constitutional consultant who helped draft the Fijian and Liberian constitutions, as well as being called in as a consultant for the constitutions of for Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Peru. To a lesser extent, he was involved in the constitutions of Poland, South Africa, Hungary, Romania, Niger, Uganda and Trinidad and Tobago. He was the editor of the 20-volume encyclopaedia Constitutions of the Countries of the World.

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