Celebrating Black History at Columbia Law

Explore a selection of original stories and videos featuring members of the Black community at Columbia Law.

Every year for Black History Month, Columbia Law School selects stories and videos that highlight the accomplishments and impact of Black alumni, faculty, and students on the Law School and beyond. Below, learn about exceptional members of the Columbia Law community like Judge Elreta Alexander ’45, the first Black woman to graduate from Columbia Law, who paved the way for future generations; our faculty and alumni who are shaping society today; and students who are poised to shape the future of the law.

Judge Elreta Alexander

Celebrating the Life of Judge Elreta Melton Alexander ’45, the First Black Woman to Graduate From Columbia Law

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Maya Wiley ’89

Maya Wiley ’89 Delivers Keynote at Seventh Annual Alumni of Color Event

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Flo Kennedy speaking at a mic. Credit: Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University

A Fighter For All Causes: Flo Kennedy ’51

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Roderick Ireland ’69: Breaking Barriers at Columbia Law and on the Bench

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Seated James Meredith looks at his diploma at 1968 graduation

James Meredith ’68: A Racial Justice Pioneer

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Columbia Law Professor Kendall Thomas in glasses and white shirt in front of mircrophone

Kendall Thomas Takes Pride in Being an Outlier and OutLaw

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Columbia Law Graduation 2018 Jeh Johnson

Jeh Johnson ’82: Success on Two Tracks

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Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw

Kimberlé Crenshaw on Intersectionality, More than Two Decades Later

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Woman with dark braids and red lipstick

How I Got Here: Temi Adeniji ’12

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Constance Baker Motley portrait

Remembering Constance Baker Motley ’46, the First Black Woman to Serve as a Federal Judge

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Franklin Thomas

Franklin A. Thomas ’63: A Lifetime of Leading Change

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Professor Kellis E. Parker black and white portrait crop

The Legacy of Kellis E. Parker, Columbia Law’s First Black Professor

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New York City Bar president Sheila Boston in a striped blazer and chunky necklace

Sheila Boston ’93 Leads City Bar Association Into a Brave New World

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A close-up of multimedia artist Bayeté Ross Smith standing in a New York City street

Bayeté Ross Smith Named First Artist-in-Residence

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Woman in orange dress, pearls and gray jacket

Five Questions on New Voting Laws for Civil Rights Lawyer Judith Browne Dianis ’92

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