Lawyer. Advocate. Judge. Elected Official.
LDF’s first female attorney, Constance Baker Motley wrote the original complaint in Brown v. Board of Education and pioneered the legal campaigns for several seminal school desegregation cases. She was the first Black woman to argue before the Supreme Court and went on to win nine out of ten cases.
Motley became the first Black woman to serve in the New York State Senate and the first woman to serve as Manhattan Borough President. When President Johnson appointed her to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, she became the first Black woman to sit as a federal judge.