Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Founded in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy and often called the “President’s Committee,”the Lawyers’ Committee was a group of volunteer attorneys from across the country who came to the state to represent persons who could not obtain or afford legal services in civil rights cases. When the committee started its work, there were only three civil rights attorneys in Mississippi to handle the hundreds of cases that were clogging the court system. When the President’s Committee closed its Mississippi office in 1985, nearly 200 African American attorneys were practicing in the state. The state offices of the National Lawyers’ Guild, the Lawyers’ Constitutional Defense Committee (LCDC) of the American Civil Liberties Union, and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund were in Hinds County.

Sources:

“Civil Rights Driving Tour of Hinds County”produced by the Associated Press, Tougaloo College, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, and the Mississippi Development Authority (Tourism Division).