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Profile of NAACP Legal Defense Fund Director Counsel, Elaine Jones

When Elaine Jones took over as director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, in January of 1993, she said she didn’t intend to follow in the footsteps of the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, the organization’s founder. “Those footsteps are too big!” she said. “I have to make my own.”

And she has done that. Jones has argued and won a wide range of civil rights cases before the Supreme Court, defended African-Americans on death row in courtrooms across the South and championed the removal of barriers to equal opportunity during her years as LDF’s congressional representative.

LDF was founded in 1940 by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, as a tax-exempt, non-profit civil rights firm. For nearly 20 years, the organizations were linked, but in 1957, following challenges to LDF’s tax status by the Internal Revenue Service, LDF became entirely separate with its own board, staff, program, offices and budget.

For more, please go to Elaine Jones.