CLE CREDITS: 2.5 ethics (This program does not qualify for PRACPRO credit)
May 17, 2019 marked the 65th Anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, which legally ended racial segregation in the schools of the United States. The lead attorney for the plaintiffs in the cases that, together, are now known as “Brown,” was Thurgood Marshall, a passionate and embattled civil rights lawyer.
Thurgood Marshall is one of the giant figures in the history of American jurisprudence. He was born into poverty and grew up in the Jim Crow racism of the early twentieth century. He became the first African American Solicitor General of the United States and then the first African American to serve as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Marshall was called “Mr. Civil Rights” by some, but he never wanted to be known as a “civil rights leader.” He saw the law as the arena where minorities and oppressed citizens could find relief, and he wanted to be known first, last and always as a lawyer. In the end he was a powerful, resourceful and successful advocate for individual human and civil rights and his life serves as a model for tenacity in the face of overwhelming odds.
Thurgood Marshall’s Coming!, featuring T. Mychael Rambo, portrays Marshall as an old man on the eve of his retirement as he ruminates and relives past trials and victories. Marshall was a master of language, storytelling and imitation and the play uses all of these to create a powerful solo presentation. His sense of humor and equanimity balance some of the bitterness he felt in his long journey and his legal arguments and rhetorical style are at once evocative and entertaining. Using Marshall’s own writings and reflections, the movie explores the discrimination he faced as he tried to enter law school, practice as a lawyer and defend the civil rights of others.
The movie shines a light on prejudice in the legal profession and the barriers to hiring that prevent full participation of lawyers of color, women and those with other nationalities of origin, religious and sexual orientation – with the hope of eliminating these biases in the legal profession. One of the best compliments received from one lawyer attending the program was, “The program made me feel what it was like to be Thurgood Marshall.” We believe feeling what discrimination is like is a step to helping lawyers to overcome their prejudices.
The movie is followed by a filmed panel discussion. Attendees are asked to focus on the issues demonstrated in the play relating to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and The Diversity Policy of the American Inns of Court.
» MSBA Standard Member: $185
» CLE Club Members: $169
» Non-Members: $260
Members of the judiciary are not eligible for free registration to this program. Please call the
MSBA at (207) 622-7554 with questions.