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Marilyn Holifield

Lawyer Marilyn Holifield was born in Tallahassee, Florida on June 17, 1948 to Millicent and Bishop Holifield, Sr. She attended the University of Florida A&M’s Lab School, before transferring to Leon High School in 1963 where she was among the first three African Americans to ever graduate from the school in 1965. Holifield then attended Swarthmore University, where she received her B.A. degree in economics with a concentration in black studies, and was a founding member of the Swarthmore Afro-American Student Society (SASS). In 1972, she graduated from Harvard Law School with her J.D. degree.

From 1972 to 1977, Holifield worked as an assistant counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in New York City, responsible for litigating class action employment lawsuits in Florida, Alabama, and Missouri, and a major prison reform suit in Georgia. She subsequently served as general counsel for the New York State Division for Youth under Peter Edelman until 1978. Holifield was then hired as a law clerk for the late Appellate Judge Paul Roney in St. Petersburg, Florida, a role she held until 1979. In 1981, she joined the Holland & Knight law firm in Tampa, Florida as its first African American associate. Holifield was transferred to the Miami office in 1984, and made partner in 1986, becoming the first black female partner of a major Florida law firm. Here, her areas of focus included class action litigation and arbitration; labor, employment and benefits; civil rights, discrimination and retaliation; and labor and employment class actions. In 2018, in her capacity as a director for the Miami-Dade North Arts and Humanities Foundation, Holifield helped to establish The Miami Museum of Contemporary Art of the African Diaspora (Miami MOCAAD).

Holifield has served on a multitude of boards, including Swarthmore College’s board of managers, the University of Miami’s board of trustees, the Swarthmore Black Alumni Network (co-founding member), Harvard Alumni Association, and the Harvard Board of Overseers.

She has won numerous awards for her legal work, including Holland & Knight’s highest honor, the Chesterfield Smith Award, in 2000. Holifield was also the recipient of the Anti-Defamation League's Jurisprudence Award in 2011, the 2012 National Bar Association's Gertrude E. Rush Award, HistoryMiami’s Legal Legend Award in 2014, and the 2019 David W. Dyer Professionalism Award presented by the Dade County Bar Association.

Marilyn Holifield was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 18, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.076

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/18/2019

Last Name

Holifield

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

J.

Occupation
Schools

Swarthmore College

Harvard Law School

Florida A&M University Developmental Research School

Leon High School

Nathan B. Young Elementary School

First Name

Marilyn

Birth City, State, Country

Tallahassee

HM ID

HOL25

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard and New York

Favorite Quote

Reach higher, think bigger.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

6/17/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Miami

Favorite Food

Vegetables (Spinach and Greens) and Fish

Short Description

Lawyer Marilyn Holifield (1948- ) was hired as the law firm Holland & Knight’s first African American attorney in 1981, and when she made partner in 1986, she became the first black female partner of a major Florida law firm.

Employment

NAACP Legal Defense Fund

New York State Division for Youth

United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals

Holland & Knight

Favorite Color

Red, Purple, and Blue

Maurita Coley

Lawyer and nonprofit executive Maurita Coley was born on June 18, 1956 in Detroit, Michigan. Coley graduated from Cass Technical High School in 1973 and went on to receive her B.A. in communications arts and sciences from Michigan State University in 1977. In 1981, Coley received her J.D. degree from Georgetown University Law Center.

In 1981, Coley joined Clark Klein & Beaumont as an associate attorney in Detroit, Michigan. Two years later, she moved to Cole Raywid and Braverman, where she served as an attorney and partner. In 1993, Coley joined BET Networks as senior vice president of legal affairs; and, in 1995, she became senior vice president of network operations and programming. In 1999, Coley returned to Cole Raywid and Braverman, which became Davis Wright Tremaine LLP in 2007. She later served as principal of Coley Law and Media, PLLC, in 2009, where she worked for three years. In 2010, Coley joined Capital Area Asset Builders as its executive director. Two years later, Coley served as executive vice president, chief operating officer, and acting chief executive officer of Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council. In 2018, she was promoted to president and chief executive officer.

Coley served as co-committee chair for Georgetown Law Center’s Black Alumni Endowment at the first Georgetown Black Law Alumni Reunion. She also served as co-agent for Davis Wright Tremaine law firm in the Georgetown Law Firm Challenge. In 2014, Coley was on the Strategic Planning Council of Alumni Leaders of Georgetown University Law Center. She is an executive committee member of Daniel Alexander Payne Community Development Corporation (DAPCDC), and is also a member of the District of Columbia Bar, the State of Michigan Bar, and the U.S. Supreme Court Bar.

Coley has received multiple awards for her work including the 2005 Distinguished Alumnae Award from Georgetown University Law Center’s Women’s Law Forum, being named a CableFax Top Lawyer in 2017, and receiving the 2018 President’s Award for Community Service from Black Data Professionals Association.

Coley and her husband, Paul Flippin, reside in Washington, D.C.

Maurita Coley was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 20, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.082

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/20/2019

Last Name

Coley

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

K.

Occupation
Schools

Roosevelt Elementary School

Pattengill Elementary School

Webber Middle School

George W. Ferris School

George Ford Middle School

Cass Technical High School

Michigan State University

Georgetown University Law Center

Johns Hopkins University

First Name

Maurita

HM ID

COL38

Favorite Season

Summer

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

If you don't have anything to say to someone's face, don't say it behind their back.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Favorite Food

Sushi

Short Description

Lawyer and nonprofit executive Maurita Coley (1955 - ) was a partner at Coley Raywid and Braverman and senior vice president of legal affairs, network operations, and programming at BET Networks before becoming president and chief executive officer of Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council in 2018.

Employment

Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC)

Capital Area Asset Builders

Coley Law and Media, PLLC

Cole Raywid & Braverman

Cole Raywid & Braverman (Davis Wright Tremaine)

BET Holdings, LLC

Detroit News

Clark Klein & Braverman

Favorite Color

Orange/Salmon

Roderick Palmore

Lawyer Roderick Palmore was born on February 14, 1952 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Jefferson and Sophie Palmore. He attended Mellon Plan Elementary School and graduated from Gateway High School in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. Palmore received his B.A. degree in economics from Yale University in 1974, and his J.D. degree from the University of Chicago Law School in 1977.

In 1977, Palmore began his career with the Berkman Ruslander Pohl Lieber & Engel firm in Pittsburgh. He went on to serve as assistant United States attorney in the Northern District of Illinois in 1980, before joining Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon as an associate in 1983. Palmore was promoted to partner in 1986. In 1993, Palmore joined Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal as a partner in the Chicago office. In 1996, he joined the Sara Lee Corporation, serving as general counsel from 1999 to 2008 and ultimately serving as executive vice president, general counsel and secretary from 2004 to 2008. Palmore joined General Mills, Inc in February 2008 as executive vice president, general counsel and chief compliance and risk management officer, and served in this capacity until his retirement from the company in 2015. Having previously been a part of the Sonnenschein firm, a Dentons legacy firm, Palmore rejoined the global law firm Dentons LLP as Senior Counsel in Chicago in 2015.

Palmore has served on the board of directors of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, Express Scripts and the Chicago Board Options Exchange. He was a former chair of the Association of General Counsel. He has also served on the boards of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago, the Public Interest Law Initiative, the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago and the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago.

In 2010, Palmore was named one of the 40 Most Influential Lawyers of the Decade by the National Law Journal. His other honors include the Corporate Exemplar Award from the National Legal Aid & Defender Association, the Spirit of Excellence Award from the American Bar Association, the Scales of Justice Award from the Equal Justice Works Foundation, as well as the Pinnacle Award for Lifetime Achievement from the National Bar Association. 

Roderick Palmore was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 10, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.051

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/10/2019

Last Name

Palmore

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

A.

Occupation
Schools

Mellon Plan School

Gateway High School

Yale University

University of Chicago Law School

First Name

Roderick

Birth City, State, Country

Pittsburgh

HM ID

PAL06

Favorite Season

Late Summer

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Kangaroo Island, Australia

Favorite Quote

At The Day Of Judgment We Will Not Be Asked What We Have Read, But What We Have Done

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Minnesota

Birth Date

2/14/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Minneapolis

Favorite Food

Mother's Pineapple Pie

Short Description

Lawyer Roderick Palmore (1952- ) served as executive vice president, general counsel and chief compliance and risk management officer for General Mills, Inc. and executive vice president and general counsel for Sara Lee Corporation.

Employment

Berkman Ruslander Pohl Lieber & Engel

U.S. Attorney, Northern District of Illinois

Wildman Harrold Allen & Dixon

Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP

Sara Lee Corporation

General Mills Inc.

Dentons US LLP

Favorite Color

Royal Blue

Patricia J. Williams

Lawyer Patricia Joyce Williams was born on August 28, 1951 in Boston, Massachusetts to Isaiah Williams and Ruth Williams. After graduating from Girls’ Latin School in 1969, Williams received her B.A. degree from Wellesley College in 1972. She went on to receive her J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1975.

From 1975 to 1978, Williams served as deputy city attorney in the Los Angeles Office of the City Attorney, where she focused on consumer protection. She joined the Western Center on Law and Poverty as a staff attorney in 1978. In 1980, she moved to Golden Gate University School of Law, where she worked as an assistant professor for four years before joining City University of New York Law School as an associate professor. From 1988 to 1993, Williams worked as a professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School. During this time, she served as a visiting professor at Stanford Law School, Duke Law School, and Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Williams joined the faculty at Columbia Law School in 1991 and taught contracts, consumer protection, and theories of equality. In 2019, she left Columbia Law School to serve a joint appointment at Northeastern University in the School of Law and the Department of Philosophy and Religion. Williams has written multiple books, including The Alchemy of Race and Rights: Diary of a Law Professor, The Rooster’s Egg: On the Persistence of Prejudice, and Seeing a Color-Blind Future: The Paradox of Race. Her scholarship has contributed to the development of critical legal studies and critical race theory.

Williams served on the board of advisors at the Center for Constitutional Rights, Society of American Law Teachers, the National Association for Public Interest Law, and The Bell Foundation. She also served on the board of directors at the National Organization for Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund and was a member of the American Philosophical Society. Williams also worked for The Nation, as author of the column, “Diary of a Mad Law Professor.”

Williams has received the Romnes Endowment for Excellence in Scholarship from the University of Wisconsin, the Alumnae Achievement Award from Wellesley College, and the Graduate Society Medal from Harvard University. In 1990, Williams received the Pioneer of Civil and Human Rights Award from the National Conference of Black Lawyers. She received the Bruce K. Gould Book Award from Touro Law Center in 1992, and the Exceptional Merit Media Award from National Women's Political Caucus in 1993. In 2000, she received the MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant.”

Williams has one son: Peter.

Patricia Williams was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 12, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.101

Sex

Female

Interview Date

9/12/2019

9/12/2019 |and| 10/21/2019

Last Name

Williams

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

J.

Occupation
Schools

Boston Latin Academy

Wellesley College

Harvard Law School

First Name

Patricia

Birth City, State, Country

Boston

HM ID

WIL94

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

Any Beach

Favorite Quote

You Have A Right To Exist No Less Than The Grass Or The Trees Or The Sky

Bio Photo
Birth Date

8/28/1951

Birth Place Term
Favorite Food

Korean Fried Chicken Wings

Short Description

Lawyer Patricia Williams (1951- ) was a professor at Columbia Law School for twenty eight years and is a leading scholar of critical race theory.

Employment

Office of the City Attorney

Western Center on Law and Poverty

Golden Gate University School of Law

City University of New York Law School

University of Wisconsin Law School

Stanford Law School

Duke University School of Law

Columbia Law School

Harvard University

The Nation

Northeastern University

Favorite Color

Blue/Green

Pamelya Herndon

Lawyer and nonprofit chief executive Pamelya Herndon was born on November 23, 1952 in Hempstead, Texas to Kathryn and Daniel Norris Herndon. She graduated from Roy Miller High School in 1971, and earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration with a focus in accounting from Howard University in 1975. Herndon then attended the University of Texas Law School where she received her J.D. degree in 1978.

Herndon married fellow lawyer, Alfred Mathewson, in 1978, and the two moved to Denver, Colorado where she worked for a major accounting firm. She was then hired by the Internal Revenue Service as a senior litigation attorney. In 1983, Herndon and her husband moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where Herndon continued to work for the IRS until she was appointed by Attorney General Patricia Madrid to serve in New Mexico’s Litigation Division in 1998. Here, she provided legal representation to state officials and agencies until 2006, before being appointed general counsel for the State Regulation and Licensing Department of New Mexico. In this position, Herndon supervised and managed the legal bureau of the Regulation and Licensing Department, as well as provided advice to the Office of the Superintendent. She remained here until 2009, when she became deputy cabinet secretary for New Mexico’s General Services Department, overseeing the administration of the government agency which housed the Risk Management, Building Services, Property Control, Transportation Services, and Administrative Services Divisions. In February of 2011, Herndon became managing partner of Herndon Legal Services, and served until October of that year. She was then hired by the Southwest Women’s Law Center in 2012 to work as their executive director until October 2018 when she founded the KWH Law Center for Social Justice and Change and became their president and CEO. Herndon also taught courses on the main campus and in the law school of the University of New Mexico. She also helped train paralegals and legal secretaries at Brookline College in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Herndon was elected as a member of the New Mexico Electoral College in 2008, is a member of the Albuquerque chapter of the American Association of University Women, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, and has served on the boards of Emerge New Mexico, the African American Performing Arts Center Foundation, the Con Alma Health Foundation, and the United States Eagle Federal Credit Union. She has also received numerous awards for her work as a lawyer, including the 2012 Public Lawyer of the Year, presented by the Public Law Section of the New Mexico State Bar, the 2015 Lawyer of the Year, presented by the Albuquerque Bar Association, and she was named as a W.K. Kellogg Fellow in 2019. Herndon is also a Certified Public Accountant.

Herndon resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico with her husband, and they have three adult children: Eryn, Amber, and Justin.

Pamelya Herndon was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 26, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.068

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/26/2019

Last Name

Herndon

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Charles W. Crossley Elementary School

Roy Miller High School

Howard University

University of Texas at Austin School of Law

First Name

Pamelya

Birth City, State, Country

Hempstead

HM ID

HER06

Favorite Season

The Time Between The End Of Summer And Beginning Of Fall

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

London, Corpus Christi, and Portugal

Favorite Quote

There Is Nothing That You Can Imagine That You Cannot Do

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Mexico

Birth Date

11/23/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Albuquerque

Favorite Food

Fried Corn

Short Description

Lawyer and nonprofit chief executive Pamelya Herndon (1953 - ) worked for the State of New Mexico for thirteen years before serving as director of the Southwest Women’s Law Center, and later becoming the founding president and CEO of the KWH Law Center for Social Justice and Change.

Employment

KWH Law Center for Social Justice and Change

Southwest Women's Law Center

Herndon Legal Services

State of New Mexico; General Services Department

State of New Mexico; Regulation and Licensing Department

New Mexico Attorney General's Office

IRS; Department of Treasury

Deloitt, Haskins & Sells

Favorite Color

Purple

Gregory M. Weston

Lawyer Gregory Weston was born on July 27, 1957 in New Rochelle, New York to Miriam Yvonne Drake and Milton Moran Weston. Weston attended Stephenson Elementary School, Albert Leonard Junior High School, and New Rochelle High School. In 1979, he received his B.A. degree in political science from Howard University, and went on to receive his J.D. degree from Columbia Law School in 1982.

In 1982, he joined Kaye Scholer Fierman Hays & Handler as an associate attorney. Weston served as an associate at White & Case law firm in 1986 before serving as assistant general counsel at New York Life Insurance Company in 1990. In 1996, Weston joined Thacher Proffitt & Wood as counsel. Two years later, he joined Battle Fowler LLP as a partner. In 2000, Weston was hired by Akin Gump LLP, where he served as senior counsel. In 2003, he served as senior director at Cushman & Wakefield real estate services. Three years later, he joined Nixon Peabody LLP as counsel. Weston was hired by Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP as senior counsel in 2010. Five years later, he moved to Winston & Strawn LLP to serve as a partner in the corporate group. At Winston & Strawn, he served on the Hiring Committee, Diversity and & Inclusion Committee and as co-chair of the Black Lawyer Network affinity group, which he founded.

Weston has been a member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity since 1999. He served as general counsel to the National Association of Investment Companies, as a member of the Real Estate Executive Council, as a governor appointee to the Real Estate Board of the State of New York, and as a State Senate appointee to the New York State Procurement Council. Weston was a founding trustee of Democracy Prep Charter School and a trustee of Democracy Prep New York Schools. He served on the boards of Weston United, The Bridge New York, Leake and Watts, Associated Black Charities, and United Neighborhood Houses, and as the board president of Weston United Community Renewal. Weston also served on the Finance Committee for The Riverside Church and on the advisory board of Mobility Capital Finance.

In 1995, Weston received the Service Award from the New York State Bar Association for his work as chair on the Committee on Minorities in the Profession. He received the Whitney M. Young Jr. Service Award from the Boy Scouts of America in 2013, the “Partner in Caring” award from The Bridge New York in 2017, and the Champion of Liberty award from Foundations for Criminal Justice in 2018.

Weston and his wife, Laura Michelle Morris, have two children: Nicholas and Lauran.

Gregory Weston was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 20, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.081

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/20/2019

Last Name

Weston

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

M.

Occupation
Schools

Howard University

Columbia Law School

Stephenson Elementary School

Albert Leonard Middle School

New Rochelle High School

First Name

Gregory

Birth City, State, Country

New Rochelle

HM ID

WES16

Favorite Season

Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

The Moral Arc Of The Universe Is Long, But It Bends Toward Justice

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

7/27/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Pasta

Short Description

Lawyer Gregory Weston (1957- ) served as partner at Battle Fowler LLP and senior counsel at Akin Gump LLP and Pillsbury LLP, before serving as partner at Winston Strawn LLP.

Employment

Thacher Proffitt & Wood

Pillsbury LLP

Winston & Strawn LLP

Kaye Scholer Fierman Hays & Handler

White & Case

New York Life Insurance Company

Battle Fowler LLP

Akin Gump LLP

Cushman & Wakefield

Nixon Peabody LLP

Favorite Color

Green

The Honorable Jeh C. Johnson

Cabinet officer and lawyer Jeh C. Johnson was born on September 11, 1957 in New York City to Norma Edelin and Jeh Vincent Johnson. He graduated from Roy C. Ketcham High School in Wappingers Falls, New York in 1975. He then received his B.A. degree from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia in 1979, and his J.D. degree from Columbia Law School in New York City in 1982.

In 1982, Johnson was hired at the law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell, and later joined the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP in 1984 as an associate. From 1989 to 1991, Johnson served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York. He subsequently became the first African American partner at Paul Weiss. In 1998, Johnson was appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve as general counsel of the U.S. Department of the Air Force until 2001, when he returned to Paul, Weiss. Johnson was later appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as general counsel for the U.S. Department of Defense in 2009. In 2012, Johnson returned to private law practice. The following year, Johnson was nominated by President Obama as Secretary of Homeland Security and served until 2017. He then rejoined the law firm of Paul Weiss as partner.

Johnson has served as chairman of the New York City Bar’s Judiciary Committee and was elected as a fellow by the American College of Trial Lawyers in 2004. He has also served as special counsel to John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign, on the board of directors for Lockheed Martin, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Center for a New American Security. In 2008, Johnson was a delegate for the Democratic National Convention. He has also served as a non-resident senior fellow for the Harvard Kennedy School of Business and as a trustee for Adelphi University.

In 2017, Johnson was named Cyber Security and Data Privacy Trailblazer by the National Law Journal and was honored with the Anti-Defamation League’s Gorowitz Institute Service Award. He also received the Theodore Roosevelt Leadership Award, the NYSBA Pioneer Award, John J. McCloy Award, and the Ronald Reagan Peace Through Strength Award. In 2018, Johnson was listed among Savoy magazine’s Most Influential Black Lawyers; and, in 2019, he received Columbia’s University’s Annual Black Alumni Council Heritage Award. He also has ten honorary degrees.

Jeh C. Johnson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 9, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.027

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/8/2019

4/8/2019 |and| 9/18/2019

Last Name

Johnson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

C

Schools

Columbia Law School

Morehouse College

P.S. 143 Louis Armstrong School

Poughkeepsie Day School

Sheafe Road Elementary School

Oak Grove Elementary School

Wappinger Falls Junior High School

Roy C. Ketcham High School

First Name

Jeh

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

JOH55

Favorite Season

Late October

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Tuscany

Favorite Quote

No Man Can Be Justly Judged Unless You Have Seen The World Through His Eyes

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

9/11/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Favorite Food

Veal Saltimbocca

Short Description

Cabinet officer and lawyer Jeh C. Johnson (1957 - ) was the first African American partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP before serving as general counsel of the Department of the Air Force, general counsel for the Department of Defense, and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security.

Employment

Department of Homeland Security

Department of Defense

Department of the Air Force

Southern District of New York

Sullivan & Cromwell

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

Favorite Color

Orange

Charles J. Hamilton, Jr.

Lawyer Charles J. Hamilton, Jr. was born on October 16, 1947 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Geraldine Alma Taylor and Charles Jordan Hamilton, Sr. He received his A.B. degree in government from Harvard College in 1969; and then received a Henry Russell Shaw Fellowship to study at the Doxiadis Institute in Athens, Greece. In 1975, Hamilton obtained his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School, where he served on the Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. He also received his M.C.P. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

From 1983 to 2000, he served as partner at the law firm of Battle Fowler, LLP before joining the law firm of Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker, LLP following the firm’s merger with Battle Fowler. Hamilton specialized in real estate development and finance, government finance, corporate governance, media and non-profit organizations. In 2010, Hamilton became senior counsel in the New York office of the law firm of Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, LLP. Throughout his career, he represented the NAACP Legal Defense Fund; the National Urban League, Inc.; Equity Office Properties Trust; Millennium Partners, L.P.; McFarlane Partners, LLC; Fannie Mae in American Communities Fund; Bessemer Trust Company; and Casden Properties, Inc. He served as outside general counsel to Essence Communications, Inc. and the Freedom National Bank of New York, and special counsel to the Apollo Theater Foundation, Inc.; the Studio Museum in Harlem; the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation; and the Palau Mission to the United Nations. Hamilton was also an impartial arbitrator to the New York City Transit Authority and special fiscal counsel to the New York City Board of Education. In addition, he served on the faculty of the Practicing Law Institute’s program in Commercial Real Estate Financing.

In 2010, Hamilton was named chair of the board of directors of the Harlem School of the Arts. He has served on the boards of the Environmental Defense Fund, the Hudson River Foundation, the National Visionary Leadership Project, the Phoenix House Foundation, Inc., Granite Broadcasting Corporation, the Harvard Club of New York City, and the Ethical Culture Fieldston School. Hamilton was also on the Harvard College Board of Overseers’ Visiting Committee to the College and the Public Policy Committee of the board of directors of The Advertising Council, Inc. Additionally, he was a trustee of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Harvard Law School Association of New York City, Inc., and the Interest on Lawyer Account Fund of the State of New York.

Hamilton has received numerous awards throughout his career, including being named one of New York’s Most Powerful Lawyers by New York magazine in 1999, the W.E.B. DuBois Medal for Academic Leadership from Harvard University in 2000, named one of America’s Top Black Lawyers by Black Enterprise in 2003, and the National Urban League, Inc. Collins Award in 2006.

Charles J. Hamilton, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 27, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.023

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/27/2019 |and| 6/19/2019

Last Name

Hamilton

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

J.

Occupation
Schools

Crescent Elementary School

Westinghouse Academy

Harvard University

Harvard Law School

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

Pittsburgh

HM ID

HAM06

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

St. Thomas

Favorite Quote

Let's Get Busy

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

10/16/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Favorite Food

Steak Salad

Short Description

Lawyer Charles J. Hamilton, Jr. (1947 - ) served as senior counsel at the law firm Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, LLP and as partner at the law firms of Battle Fowler, LLP and Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker, LLP.

Employment

Pillsbury , Madison, & Sutro

Battle Fowler, LLP

Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, LLP

Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, LLP

Favorite Color

Green

Diane B. Patrick

Lawyer Diane Patrick was born on December 17, 1951 in Brooklyn, New York to John Charles Bemus and Lilian Bemus. At a young age, Patrick and her family moved to the Hollis neighborhood in Queens. In 1972, she received her B.A. degree in education from Queens College of the City University of New York. Patrick went on to receive her J.D. degree from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, California in 1980.

Between college and law school, Patrick worked as an elementary school teacher in the New York public school system. After graduating from Loyola Law School, Patrick joined O’Melveny & Myers as an attorney. In 1983, as a third-year associate, Patrick was asked to move to New York City along with three other associates and two partners to open the firm's New York office. Three years later, Patrick and her family moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where she served as university attorney for Harvard University before being promoted in 1992 to director and associate vice president of human resources. Patrick worked as an attorney at Hogan & Harston in Washington, D.C. for one year before returning to Boston in 1995 to join Ropes & Gray as a labor attorney. From 2006 to 2015, she served as First Lady of Massachusetts during her husband Deval Patrick’s two terms as Governor. In 2010, Patrick was appointed chair of the diversity committee at Ropes & Gray; and, in 2013, she was promoted to co-managing partner at the firm. Patrick retired from Ropes & Gray in 2016.

Patrick served on the boards of the Epiphany School, the Posse Foundation, Massachusetts General Hospital, Partners Healthcare, United Way of Massachusetts Bay, and Jane Doe, Inc. She has volunteered with the Commonwealth’s Foster Care Review Unit, the Boston Bar Association’s Lawyer for a Day program, and the Boston Women Build in the Bayou project. Patrick served as a trustee for ArtsBoston, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Cambridge College, and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

While in law school, Patrick received the American Jurisprudence Award, Best Appellant Brief in Statewide Moot Court Competition, and Outstanding Graduate Award for outstanding academic performance and citizenship. In 2015, she was inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Bostonians and received the Cushing-Gavin Management Attorney Award for Excellence from the Labor Guild. She received the Champion of Justice Award from Discovering Justice in 2017, and the Boston Bar Foundation’s Public Service Award in 2019.
Patrick and her husband, Deval Patrick, have two children: Sarah and Katherine.

Diane Patrick was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 12, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.099

Sex

Female

Interview Date

9/12/2019

Last Name

Patrick

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

B.

Occupation
Schools

Queens College, City University of New York

Loyola Law School

First Name

Diane

Birth City, State, Country

New York City

HM ID

PAT12

Favorite Season

Thanksgiving

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Nevis

Favorite Quote

The Will Of God Will Not Take You Where The Grace Of God Will Not Protect You

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

12/17/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Favorite Food

Tomatoes, Hamburgers, and Tuna Fish

Short Description

Lawyer Diane Patrick (1951- ) served as managing partner at Ropes & Gray law firm, and as First Lady of Massachusetts from 2006 to 2015.

Employment

New York Public School System

O'Melveny & Myers

Harvard University

Hogan & Harston

Ropes & Gray

Governor Deval Patrick Administration

Favorite Color

Blue

Virgil Roberts

Lawyer Virgil Roberts was born on January 4, 1947 in Ventura, California. He attended Ventura College in Ventura, California and transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles, where he received his B.A. degree in 1968. After doing graduate studies for a year, Roberts earned his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1972.

In 1968, Roberts helped found the first African American studies program at the University of California, Los Angeles, and established the Center for Afro-American Studies, later known as the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies. In 1972, Roberts joined the Los Angeles law firm of Pacht, Ross, Warne, Bernhard and Sears as an associate and civil litigator. There, he handled business litigation and did pro-bono work for civil rights organizations. In 1976, Roberts left the firm to found his own practice, known as, Manning, Reynolds & Roberts, where his clients included Associated Booking Corporation, Norman Whitfield and the Whispers. He also continued his pro-bono work and represented the NAACP from 1978 to 1981 in the Los Angeles school desegregation case, Crawford v. Board of Education. In 1981, Roberts served as executive vice president and general counsel of SOLAR Records, the company known as “the Motown of the 80’s.” Roberts was named president and general counsel of SOLAR Records in 1990, where he was instrumental in creating Death Row Records. In 1996, Roberts founded the law firm of Bobbitt & Roberts along with Leroy Bobbitt, where their clients included SOLAR Records, Gospocentric Records, Slip ‘n’ Slide Records, Blackground Records, Usher, Chaka Khan, NATPE International, Paramount Pictures, Black Entertainment Television and Barbara Taylor Bradford.

Roberts served as a founder and director of Community Build, he also served as chairman of Broadway Financial Corporation and Broadway Federal Bank FSB. In 2005, he founded and served as co-chair of Alliance for College Ready Public Schools; and, the following year, Roberts joined the Claremont Graduate University Board of Trustees. He joined the board of directors of The James Irvine Foundation. He founded and served as chair of the African-American Board Leadership Institute and as director of Great Public Schools NOW. In 2018, a middle school, the Alliance Virgil Roberts Leadership Academy, was named in his honor.

Roberts and his wife, Brenda, have two adult married children: Gisele Simone (Roberts) Wilson and Hayley Tasha Roberts.

Virgil Roberts was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 6, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.011

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/6/2019

Last Name

Roberts

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Ventura College

University of California, Los Angeles

Harvard Law School

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Depends on Schedule

First Name

Virgil

Birth City, State, Country

Ventura

HM ID

ROB39

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $500 - $1,000

Favorite Season

Thanksgiving

Speaker Bureau Notes

Preferred Audience: Tens - Audit

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

So good to be seen.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

1/4/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Favorite Food

Peach Cobbler

Short Description

Lawyer Virgil Roberts (1947 - ) worked as an entertainment lawyer for over forty years, served as president and general counsel of SOLAR Records, and founded the entertainment law firm Bobbitt & Roberts.

Employment

Pacht, Ross, Warne, Bernhard & Sears

Manning, Reynolds & Roberts

SOLAR Records

Bobbitt & Roberts

Favorite Color

Blue