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Joyce Hughes

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Information about Joyce Hughes

Profile image of Joyce Hughes

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
LawMakers
Occupation(s):
Law Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Yellow
Favorite Food:
Salmon
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Interesting.

Birthplace

Born:
2/7/1940
Birth Location:
Gadsen, Alabama

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
LawMakers
Occupation(s):
Law Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Yellow
Favorite Food:
Salmon
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Interesting.

Birthplace

Born:
2/7/1940
Birth Location:
Gadsen
See how Joyce Hughes is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Northwestern University law professor Joyce Hughes' life has been a series of important "firsts." Hughes was born in Gadsden, Alabama, on February 7, 1940. Her parents, determined not to have their children limited by a segregated South, made the decision to move their family north to Minnesota.

After graduating from Carleton College magna cum laude, Hughes was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship where she spent a year at the University of Madrid in Spain. Upon returning to the United States, she attended the University of Minnesota Law School. When Hughes received her J.D. degree in 1965, she was the first African American female to do so.

Following law school, Hughes was awarded a clerkship with a federal district court judge in Minnesota. This was also a first. She practiced law with a small Minneapolis firm after her clerkship, and in 1971, joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota Law School. Hughes was the first woman and the first African American to teach there, as well as the first African American female to be hired as a tenure track professor at any majority white institution. During this time, she also served on the Board of Directors of the National Urban League.

In 1975, Hughes became a member of the Northwestern University Law School faculty and in 1979, she was first African American female tenured full professor in any department at Northwestern University. Hughes also became politically active, serving on the Chicago Board of Education, where she was influential in school desegregation policy; in the legal department of Continental Illinois National Bank; and as the first woman and the first African American General Counsel of the Chicago Transit Authority.

Hughes continues to teach at Northwestern University. Currently, she sits on the Board of Directors of Chicago's Leadership Council for Metropolitan Open Communities and the Board of Visitors of Bennett College, Greensboro, North Carolina.

See how Joyce Hughes is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Joyce Hughes interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Joyce Hughes's favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Joyce Hughes describes her father and his family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Joyce Hughes describes her mother and her family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Joyce Hughes explains how her parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Joyce Hughes talks about her father's interest in golf
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Joyce Hughes discusses her siblings and her choice to keep her maiden name
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Joyce Hughes shares memories from her childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Joyce Hughes explains why her parents moved to Minnesota
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Joyce Hughes discusses racial demographics in Minnesota
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Joyce Hughes compares her childhood personality with her sister's
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Joyce Hughes talks about the influence of her mother
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Joyce Hughes talks about her childhood schools
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Joyce Hughes explains her motivations to attend college and law school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Joyce Hughes recalls sights, sounds, and smells from her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Joyce Hughes describes her experience at Carleton College
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Joyce Hughes discusses her time in Spain as a Fulbright Scholar
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Joyce Hughes explains her decision to enter law school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Joyce Hughes talks about a summer job working with the NAACP
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Joyce Hughes details her experience at the University of Minnesota Law School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Joyce Hughes describes her summer associate job at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison LLP
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Joyce Hughes talks about clerking for a federal judge in Minnesota
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Joyce Hughes briefly discusses graduating from law school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Joyce Hughes discusses her father's golf career
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Joyce Hughes shares lessons learned while clerking for Judge Earl Larson
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Joyce Hughes describes her working relationship with the judge for whom she clerked
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Joyce Hughes briefly talks about her time as a cheerleader while in college
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Joyce Hughes details her time working at a small Minneapolis law firm
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Joyce Hughes discusses her marriage
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Joyce Hughes explains why she began teaching at the University of Minnesota Law School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Joyce Hughes details the challenges she faced as a law professor at University of Minnesota Law School
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Joyce Hughes talks about receiving national publicity for becoming a law professor
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Joyce Hughes evaluates the historical impact of her becoming a law professor
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Joyce Hughes details a conflict with students and faculty at University of Minnesota Law School
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Joyce Hughes talks about her publication dealing with her conflict at University of Minnesota Law School
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Joyce Hughes discusses becoming a professor at Northwestern University School of Law
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Joyce Hughes talks about moving to Chicago in the 1970s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Joyce Hughes briefly talks about the demographics of attorneys in Chicago during the 1970s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Joyce Hughes explains how she attended the first conference of the Helsinki Accord in 1977
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Joyce Hughes discusses her work on Harold Washington's Chicago mayoral campaign
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Joyce Hughes describes her experience as general counsel of the Chicago Transit Authority
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Joyce Hughes discusses her first stroke
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Joyce Hughes discusses race and diversity in academic hiring and promotion practices
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Joyce Hughes shares her opinions on race
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Joyce Hughes talks about the positive impact of being a black female law professor
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Joyce Hughes talks about how a career in academic law has rewarded her
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Joyce Hughes discusses significant 20th century legal cases in the United States
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Joyce Hughes expresses concerns for the black community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Joyce Hughes considers whether she has any heroes or mentors in the legal community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Joyce Hughes talks about the importance of her family
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Joyce Hughes considers her legacy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Joyce Hughes considers how she would like to be remembered