(Jack Greenberg and his wife Debbie are in the top left picture.)
On Friday, January 24, Columbia Law School hosted a conference honoring Jack Greenberg’s indelible influence on the civil rights bar. Greenberg is the Alphonse Fletcher, Jr. Professor of Law at Columbia University and LDF’s second Director-Counsel from 1961-84.
Greenberg first joined LDF in 1949 as a 24 year-old Columbia Law School graduate. At the time, Thurgood Marshall was looking for an assistant to help fight Jim Crow. A few years later, a 27 year-old Greenberg became the youngest member of the team of lawyers that brought the Brown school desegregation cases to the Supreme Court. At LDF, he was an assistant counsel from 1949-61 under the aegis of Thurgood Marshall.
Lawyers from dozens of organizations came from all around the world to celebrate the work of Greenberg. Margaret Fung of AALDEF said that “Greenberg lent his expertise” during AALDEF’s nascent stages. Former LDF President & Director-Counsel Ted Shaw said Greenberg was instrumental during pivotal moments of the civil rights movement. Kristen Clarke, a former LDF attorney wrote it’s “inspiring to hear and see generations of lawyers inspired by Jack Greenberg & the LDF model of civil rights lawyering and advocacy.”