February is Black History Month, and Seattle’s Lembhard Howell has played a large role in shaping history, especially during the early Civil Rights Era.
Howell, who practices personal injury and civil rights law at the Law Offices of Lembhard G. Howell, spearheaded a lawsuit in 1969 that led to the desegregation of trade unions. Howell went on to become the first African American president of the Washington State Bar Association.
He talked to us two years ago, when he was featured in the 2010 Washington Super Lawyers magazine, about his two role models: Martin Luther King Jr. and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.
“I place Thurgood Marshall ahead of King,” Howell said, pointing out that Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, which Marshall argued before the Supreme Court, came a year before King’s first activism. “He was the general that led a judicial civil-rights revolution in this country, removing the ‘separate but equal’ doctrine from the constitutions of 22 states. He had far more effect than most presidents. … He personified the lawyer as an architect of progress.”