First woman named to head NAACP Legal Defense Fund – Elaine Jones, new director-counsel of the Legal Defense and Educational Fund – Brief Article
For the first time in the 53-year history of the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the organization will be headed by a woman.
Elaine Jones, a policy analyst, litigator and civil rights advocate recently was named as the organization’s director-counsel. The late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall created and held the position when the organization was created in 1940.
As head of the Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Jones, 48, will oversee 30 lawyers, a $9 million annual budget and a docket of more than 300 cases.
The first Black woman to enroll in the University of Virginia law school, Jones, after graduating law school in 1970, declined a job with a pretigious Wall Street law firm to pursue an opportunity with the civil rights organization.
Throughout her 23-year legal career, Jones has been active in the predominantly Black National Bar Association and served as co-chair of the NBA’s Judicial Selection Committee.
Jones is also a member of the American Bar Association House of Delegates. She was elected to the ABA Board of Governors in 1989 for a three-year term, making her the first Black elected to serve on that board.
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