Alumni Spotlight

Triumphs & Challenges on the Road to Change

Please enjoy this replay of a special webinar titled “Triumphs & Challenges on the Road to Change” with Blank Rome alumnus and Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David.

You can watch the webinar below:

Honoring Judge Nathaniel R. Jones (1926–2020)

Judge Jones

Judge Nathaniel R. Jones (May 13, 1926–January 26, 2020) joined Blank Rome in 2002 and served as our first Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. In 1962, Judge Jones became the first African American to be appointed as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio in Cleveland. He held that position until his 1967 appointment as Assistant General Counsel to President Lyndon B. Johnson’s National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, also known as the Kerner Commission. Judge Jones went on to hold the position of general counsel of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (“NAACP”) from 1969 to 1979 where he directed all NAACP litigation. In addition to personally arguing several cases in the U.S. Supreme Court, he coordinated national efforts to end northern school segregation, to defend affirmative action, and to inquire into discrimination against Black servicemen in the U.S. military. He also successfully coordinated the NAACP’s defense on First Amendment grounds in the Mississippi Boycott case. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter nominated Judge Jones to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He served on the court for 23 years, retiring in 2002. Judge Jones was an honored member of Blank Rome until his passing in 2020.

In May 2016, Judge Jones’ memoir, Answering the Call: An Autobiography of the Modern Struggle to End Racial Discrimination in America, was published by The New Press. Judge Jones was integral in helping to foster and promote our rich culture of inclusion throughout the firm, and selfless in sharing his time and unmatched perspective with so many of us who are better people for having known him.

Please read more about him and his historic accomplishments here.


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