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Seattle Law Firm Salutes Important African-American Lawyers in History

Updated on: 8/24/2018

Davis Law Group would like to observe Black History Month by recognizing the work of just a few historical and contemporary African-American lawyers in the United States.  There is a long list of African-American attorneys that have distinguished the profession.  Here we hope to highlight just a few:

  • Macon Bolling Allen was the first African American licensed to practice law in the United States, (Maine, 1844), and is believed to be the first African American to hold a judicial position, (Massachusetts, 1848).
  • Robert Morris was one of the first black lawyers in the United States.  Admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1847, Morris may have been the first black man to file a lawsuit in the U.S. (He prevailed.) He opened the first black law office in the United States with partner Macon Bolling Allen (incidentally, the first black American lawyer).  
  • Cecil F. Poole  was nominated by as U.S. attorney for the Northern District California. He was the first African American U.S. attorney in the Continental U.S., the first black federal judge in Northern California and served on the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Eric Holder Jr. was the nation's first African American attorney general in February 3, 2009.
  • John Rock became the first African-American attorney to practice before the Supreme Court . Rock was the first Black attorney admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States. He was the first Black person to be received on the floor of the United State House of Representatives.
  • Constance Baker Motley was an African-American civil rights activist, lawyer, judge, state senator, and had a major impact on ending racial discrimination.
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