On Tuesday, January 21st, Jon Harkavy will moderate a forum at Elon Law School celebrating the life and legacy of civil rights icon Julius Chambers. The forum’s panelists include the Hon. Henry Frye, former chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court; John Charles Boger, Dean of UNC School of Law; and Geraldine Sumter, a partner at Ferguson, Chambers & Sumter law firm.
Julius Chambers graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1962, where he was first in his class and Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review. Chambers received his masters of law degree from Columbia University in 1964, and in June of that year opened a law firm in Charlotte. Within his first year of practice, Chambers filed countless lawsuits challenging segregation in schools, public accommodations, and hospitals across North Carolina. Chambers went on to win landmark civil rights cases before the United States Supreme Court in such cases as Swann v. Charlotte Mecklenburg Board of Education, 402 U.S. 1 (1971), Griggs v. Duke Power Co., 401 U.S. 424 (1971), and Albemarle Paper Co. v. Moody, 422 U.S. 405 (1975).
In 1984, Chambers left his Charlotte law firm to lead the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in New York City. After leaving this position in 1993, Chambers was named chancellor of North Carolina Central University. He returned to his law practice in 2001, where he continued to pursue work in employment discrimination, education, and civil rights. Chambers passed away on August 2, 2013.
The forum celebrating Chambers’ life and legacy will be held on Tuesday, January 21st at 6:00 pm in the library of Elon University School of Law. A detailed remembrance of Mr. Chambers is available on his firm’s website.